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2024 Student Success Summit a SUCCESS!

An annual event hosted by Student Success and First Year Experience

“The most important thing I learned today is that it’s ok to be nervous, there are plenty of people and resources around me to help.” – Summit 2024 Attendee

Around 150 students attended one of two Student Success Summits in January, hosted by Student Success and the First Year Experience. Designed to support first-year students on academic warning after their first semester (based on their fall grades), the summit was also open to any other students who wanted to refocus for the spring. 

Keynote speaker TiElla Grimes, Founder of InnHer Uplift Consulting, life coach, speaker, facilitator, and once a first-generation college student herself, challenged our students to believe in their ability to achieve success (“get CLEAR” and “do it scared!”). Students were then able to select from workshops in two separate sessions based on their interest, presented by graduate student staff. Session one included topics: Secrets of Successful Students, Time Management, Goal Setting, and Research Skills. Session two included topics: Conquering Procrastination, Study Tips and Tricks, Managing Stress and Financial Literacy. Session topics were selected based on feedback from students and graduate student success coaches. 

Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Salem State University faculty who shared their tips and recommendations for achieving success in the classroom. Panelists included professors Michele Divila, world languages, Leslie Duhaylongsod, secondary and higher education, James Gubbins, interdisciplinary studies, Sara Moore, sociology, Binneh Minteh, criminal justice, Anne Noonan, psychology, and Keja Valens, English.

Program assessment demonstrated a strong impact on participants: every workshop session was ranked above a 4.0 on a 1-5 scale, with 1 as "strongly disagree" and 5 as "strongly agree" when it came to session content being helpful, learning something from the session, speakers being engaging, and the session addressing concerns students had about the spring semester. The keynote speaker, faculty panel, and summit overall also received similarly high marks for the degree of motivation and sharing information that was helpful in planning for spring classes. Eighty-nine percent of students indicated they agreed or strongly agreed that the Success Summit provided them valuable tips/motivation to be successful during the spring semester.

Student comments were equally positive (a few select examples):

  • “The most important thing I learned today was to be confident in myself and know my strengths.”
  • “(I learned) to see failure as an opportunity and a gift and not a failure. It’s okay to take a break and come back refreshed and ready.”
  • “(I learned) a lot of other students are in the same situation as me and that I am not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.”
  • It was helpful to know other people share similar stresses.
  • “I think the guest speaker was amazing so props to her and her poem. I really thought the faculty panel was very helpful and the four faculty speakers were very nice. I also enjoyed the workshops especially the one by Jeffrey on conquering procrastination.”
  • “Very cool event and its meaning and purpose I’m sure mean a lot to many others who are struggling academically, including myself….”

Interested in being a part of next year’s Student Success Summit? Contact Megan Wigton in the Office of Student Success and the First Year Experience. Want to learn more about the various resources in place to support student success at Salem State University? Visit the Student Success Canvas page.

Megan Wigton
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