US colleges must do more to assist new students

March 24, 2009

According to the latest Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), many incoming students at American community colleges do not take advantage of valuable resources because they are not aware of them, and the report argues the schools need to do a better job of personally assisting new students. 29% of students did not know their college offered academic advising, while 27% were not aware of financial aid counselling at their school. While 80% reported they "felt welcome" when they first arrived on campus, 76% said there was not a "specific person" designated to them from whom they could seek assistance. The report recommends schools adopt personalized advising programs, matching students with mentors earlier. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the full report