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Student Support Services Frequently Asked Questions

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Student Support Services (SSS) is a federal TRIO program that offers services to help participants succeed in college and graduate on a timely basis. The services include free tutoring, academic advising, career development assistance, graduate school preparation, and financial planning assistance.

No. SSS serves eligible students only. These include first-generation college students (neither parent graduated with a four-year degree) and income-eligible students (as determined by federal guidelines), as well as students with a documented disability.

SSS provides a personal college "safety net" from your freshman year through graduation. The program can help you build on your strengths and address your areas of concern. By becoming a participant, you will gain access to services and opportunities not available to other students on campus.

SSS tends to have expectations rather than requirements. It is expected that you will be committed to earning your degree and that you will take advantage of SSS services that meet your academic needs. The SSS staff will make recommendations for you that we expect you to carefully consider.

Yes. SSS offers peer mentors for incoming students and special sections of Gen 100 that are designed to assist with the adjustment to college. SSS also makes the transition smoother by offering one-on-one advising and career counseling and workshops on managing your time efficiently, getting along with professors, financing your education, and many other topics.

No. Once you become a participant in SSS, you are eligible to receive services until you graduate. In fact, some SSS services are especially directed toward juniors and seniors, such as our graduate school preparation seminar, resume writing assistance, leadership development opportunities, etc.

Yes. Some first-year and second-year students are eligible to receive a special grant through SSS. The program also offers a few scholarships just for SSS participants. For more information, please see the Financing Your Education page.

Whether you should seek employment will probably depend on your class schedule and the other commitments you have, such as extracurricular activities or family responsibilities. If you do work, we recommend no more than 10-15 hours per week. The SSS staff would be glad to meet with you to discuss the pros and cons of employment and how to locate positions on campus. To search part-time and on campus positions, see Handshake.

Our SSS student leaders arrange many social events each semester. In the past, these have included bowling, ice skating, and volleyball as well as cookouts, Halloween activities, and even a Thanksgiving potluck dinner. The SSS program also purchases tickets to a variety of campus events that participants can attend together. Along with academic support, SSS will offer many opportunities for you to get to know other students whose experiences are similar to your own.

Generally, the first step is to speak with the course professor. Make sure you know where you stand in the course and what you need to do to reach the level of achievement you want. Perhaps rearranging your study schedule or location will help you retain the material better; maybe tutoring will help. Please see one of the SSS Tutoring Coordinator, Faith Pawelski.

Absolutely. SSS offers students supplemental academic advising as well as career counseling. As a participant in the SSS program, you will be able to take a variety of career assessments free of charge. SSS can help you to determine a program that best suits your interests, strengths, and long-term plans, then help you to map out which courses you need and when to take them.

All SSS staff members work directly with our students, so feel free to call any one of us at (715) 836-4542 or send us an e-mail:

Bruce Ouderkirk, Director,
Charlie Krula, Academic Advising Coordinator,
Laura Rubenzer, Career Development Coordinator,
Maggie Jensen, Career Development Coordinator,
Faith Pawelski, Tutoring Coordinator,
Rebecca Hotujec, Program Associate,

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