The academic counselors and advisors in SSS serve as primary advisors for incoming SSS freshmen and secondary advisors for all other SSS students. SSS counselors and advisors have the advantage of knowing the individual needs of their students and can assist them in preparing their class schedules based on these needs and their career interests.
SSS participants receive on-going academic support from their assigned SSS counselor and/or advisor. Counselors and advisors work with participants on time management, study-skills development, successful classroom behaviors, problem-solving skills, and conflict management. They assist students in developing plans for addressing academic weaknesses and recognize them for academic success. Students are required to see their counselors and advisors a minimum of three (3) times per semester.
Academic Enrichment Workshops:
These workshops are designed to address the academic, financial, career, and personal concerns of SSS participants. Students will receive knowledge from speakers on various topics to enhance their everyday college and life skills. Participants are encouraged to attend.
SSS participants are encouraged to choose majors that will lead to productive careers. Counselors and advisors assist students with career exploration and refer them to the Career Services Center for additional services.
Celebration of Achievement:
Each spring, SSS staff plan and organize a “Celebration of Achievement” program recognizing participants for their academic achievement, leadership, persistence, and college completion. In order for students to be recognized, they must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Computer and Internet Access:
SSS has a computer lab in Lucile Petry-Leone (offices 10, 17, & 18) which is equipped with computers, a laser printer and internet access. The lab is open for SSS students’ use “only”during normal office hours. Usage of the computers and printing is free. Students must adhere to the posted rules concerning the use of the computer lab.
Six-Week Success Program:
This program is designed to help new SSS students at “Valley” get on track and stay on track for success. To help students be successful, the six sessions will cover time management, study and test-taking skills, financial literacy and other beneficial subject areas.
Financial Aid Counseling:
SSS participants are encouraged to apply for financial assistance by completing the FAFSA each year by the April 1 priority deadline. The SSS counselors and advisors provide participants with assistance in completing their applications, and they share lots of information about the financial aid packages available at MVSU. SSS counselors and advisors also help students search and apply for scholarships. When needed, SSS also helps participants with their financial aid appeals.
Graduate School/Cultural Activities:
Students in SSS have the opportunity to participate in travel to graduate schools and cultural activities such as museums and plays. It is important that once our students graduate, they pursue a degree in graduate school. This introduction to graduate schools and their requirements is beneficial. Students must attend the pre-graduate/cultural trip meeting to receive guidelines for participation. SSS students are also encouraged to participate in on-campus events such as graduate school day, the various convocations, the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, the Annual Student Christmas Dinner, and Community Day. These events provide opportunities for our students to learn and socialize/network. Events are posted in the SSS Calendar of Events and on the university website. Most events are free or have a nominal fee.
Graduate School Counseling:
SSS students are encouraged to attend the graduate school of their choice. Counselors and advisors assist students with this request by teaching them how to research and complete graduate school admissions requirements and other documents. SSS students have an opportunity to visit various graduate schools in the fall and spring semester.
Mid-Term Boot Camp:
This boot camp is designed for 2.5 or higher GPA holding SSS students who are in academic jeopardy before or during mid-terms during the fall and spring semesters. Their progress reports and grades determine the level and type of services they will receive (i.e. the number and kind of tutorial sessions required). See STARS requirements for students who have less than a 2.5 GPA.
New Student Orientation:
New Student Orientation is a time for all new SSS participants to assemble together and learn more about the benefits of SSS. The new SSS participants also learn about the various projects taking place in SSS. It gives new participants time to fellowship with the staff and other participants in a relaxing environment.
Approximately three progress reports (pre-midterm, midterm and post-midterm) will be generated on SSS students per semester. On the progress reports, faculty will indicate each student’s attendance and grade in the course and can make additional comments or recommendations. Students with less than a “C” in any course are advised to meet with their counselors and advisors to discuss a plan of action for academic improvement. SSS students may review their reports.
The SSS counselors and advisors provide confidential personal support, crisis intervention, and information and referral services. They direct students to leadership opportunities on campus and also support leadership development. They also serve as liaisons with university departments and community agencies. When presenting concerns of a serious or chronic nature, the counselors and advisors make referrals to the on-campus counseling center.
Quarterly Online Newsletter:
The SSS Quarterly showcases the talents and accomplishments of SSS students. It shares helpful tips on various topics and keeps students abreast of their peers’ accomplishments.
SSS Debate Team:
One of the major objectives for this activity is to encourage collegiate TRIO participants to discuss relative social, political, and religious issues affecting the global community.
Each year, state and regional debate competitions are held to strengthen the bonds between the collegiate TRIO Programs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. To achieve this goal, we recruit and prepare SSS participants interested in debating. The MVSU SSS Debate Team started competing in the TRIO state debate competitions in 2009; since its start, the MVSU team has won three state championships. They went on to represent Mississippi at the TRIO regional debate competition for each of the three years and placed second, fourth and third, respectively.
SSS Coalition Organization:
The purpose of Students Supporting Students Coalition (SSS Coalition) is to enhance the academic, social and leadership skills of Student Support Services participants in an effort to increase their retention and graduation rates at Mississippi Valley State University. All SSS participants are members of this great student organization.
SSS STAR Student
Each month the SSS counselors nominate deserving students who hold a 3.0 or higher GPA and are actively involved in the program and university activities. Then the nominees for SSS Star Student of the Month are selected by a committee of three to five members. These Star Students are recognized in the presence of their peers in their classrooms each month. Each winner receives a framed certificate, a cash prize, a Walmart giftcard, posters of winner posted across campus, and other items.
Student Support Services has developed the STARS (Students Taking Actions to Reach Success) program, which is designed to give additional academic support to SSS students whose GPA falls below a 2.5. By having students meet weekly with their assigned counselors, advisors and tutors, these students will be taking all the necessary actions needed to reach academic success.
Summer Bridge Program:
Student Support Services incollaboration with Upward Bound has established the summer bridge program for qualified graduating high school seniors. The aim of the program is to assist this population of students with bridging the gap from high school to college by providing interactive workshops and college courses paid for by Upward Bound to give the students college-life experiences.
Peer Tutoring and Mentoring Services:
Student Support Services offers tutorial services to its students in the major subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Health, Physics, Accounting, Business Administration, English (Composition and Literature), History, Mathematics, and Sociology. Students are paired individually or in a group with a professional and/or peer tutor/mentor to work on helping them learn the subjects. These tutor/mentors also provide mentoring services by checking on freshmen and sophomore students weekly. They contact their caseload of students to check up on them and offer weekly group tutorials to them, as well as all other SSS participants. Students can contact the Tutorial Coordinator/Counselor for assistance in locating a professional and/or peer tutor/mentor for assistance. Tutorial schedules are posted and emailed to SSS participants at the beginning of each semester.