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A Guide to the Research: Organizations / Support Services

Presents research literature and other sources of information about first generation college students, focusing on four-year undergraduate and graduate school experiences.

University of Kentucky


* de Silva, Deema. Student Support Services Program--Policies & Procedures Manual. Wichita State University, 1998. 113 pp. Available on ERIC Microfiche ED423781, Education Library.
This guide presents policies and procedures of the Student Support Services Program at Wichita State University (Kansas) that are designed to serve the special needs of limited-income and first-generation college students. Part 1, an overview of policy, includes the program's mission statement, a statement of principles, general guidelines concerning staff time and use of resources, and a statement of program goals and objectives. Part 2 describes the program's staff component, including job descriptions and sample job performance agreements for project staff, as well as an explanation of the time commitment of key project staff. Part 3 presents policies and procedures of the tutorial and training component. Subsections address policies and procedures for tutors, hours of tutoring, tutor training, student-tutor contracts, tutor responsibilities, mid-semester conferences, and continuous rehiring. Part 4 details policies and procedures for administering and awarding seven specific scholarship programs. Part 5 covers the educational activities and communication component. Subsections address the educational enrichment workshop, study skills advocacy, textbook library loan program, typewriter and computer use, the cultural spring fling, and computer equipment. The final section, part 6, is on the tracking and evaluation component, with subsections on database files, transcript analysis, evaluations, monthly reports, and the U.S. Department of Education performance report. Table of contents of the 2013 ed.
* Lumina Foundation for Education. Calculating Cost-Return for Investments in Student Success, 2010.
In late 2007, Jobs for the Future (JFF), working with the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability, launched "Investing in Student Success", a one-year pilot program. The pilot, conceived of as part of the "Making Opportunity Affordable" initiative and funded by Walmart Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education, focused on exploring whether first-year programs designed to retain students are a cost-effective investment for colleges and universities. JFF and the Delta Project recruited 13 colleges and universities to participate in Investing in Student Success. Each institution had student success programs considered effective at serving freshman students, especially low-income, first-generation, at-risk college students. The project's goal was to develop, test, and standardize tools that document the relationship between program costs and student results. The feature product of the pilot is the ISS Cost-Return Calculator, a tool that can help campus and program administrators compare the costs of student success programs to the programs' impact on student retention. 
* Pacchetti, Ed M. A benefit-cost analysis of the Student Support Services program. University of Maryland, College Park, 2009, 183 pp.
This study extends previous research on the Student Support Services program, a federal program that works to ensure college retention and graduation for low-income and first generation students, by examining the benefits and the costs of higher-impact SSS projects. Higher-impact SSS projects are defined as such because the graduation rates of their participants exceed the national graduation rate for other low-income and first generation students who have not participated in the SSS program. Applying a methodology used in other benefit-cost analyses of education programs, this study explores how the benefits over 40 years following participation in higher-impact SSS projects exceed the costs of these projects. This study focuses on benefits and costs to society. The benefit measures utilized in this study include higher income, lower health care costs and lower costs of crime. The cost measures include grant award costs, institutional project contributions, Pell Grant costs and the costs of Stafford Loan subsidies. The findings show that at three discount rates of 3%, 7% and 10%, the benefits of higher-impact SSS projects consistently exceed their costs. In addition, in most estimates of the future value of benefits generated by higher-impact SSS projects, the benefits generated by these projects are significant enough to provide for the grant award costs of all SSS projects at 4-year colleges and universities in project year 2005-2006, the year that is the focus of this study. This study's findings have implications for future research. Because the benefits of higher-impact SSS projects are significant, future research should focus on identifying the components of these projects responsible for success and incorporating these components into less successful projects in an attempt to increase the college graduation rates of all SSS projects. However, this study emphasizes that benefit-cost analysis should be one of many measures used to evaluate SSS projects and determine program success.
* Zhang, Yu and Tsze Chan. An Interim Report on the Student Support Services Program: 2002-03 and 2003-04, with Select Data from 1998-2002. US Department of Education. 2007. 56 pp.
This report describes essential characteristics and key program outcome measures for the Student Support Services (SSS) program grantees and participants in reporting years 2002-03 and 2003-04. The SSS program is designed to increase college persistence and graduation rates for eligible students, increase the transfer rates of eligible students from two-year to four-year institutions, and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities. Because of their disadvantaged background, SSS participants often need a longer time to complete a degree than their counterparts with dissimilar backgrounds. This report displays the completion rates for the 1998-99 freshman cohort participants who completed a bachelor's degree within six years of beginning college, that is, within five years after their freshman year. It also presents the degree completion rate by the length of time participants received services. The report consists of two sections. Section I describes select grantee and participant characteristics for reporting years 2002-03 and 2003-04. Section II presents information on program outcomes and impact as measured by persistence and degree completion rates for full-time freshmen and type of institution. Section II also presents data on length of services received and degree completion. After Section II, three appendices provide some supplemental or supportive information. Appendix A presents the number of student records contained in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 a annual performance report (APR) data. Appendix B reports select characteristics of grantees and participants by state. Appendix C provides counts corresponding to the percentages displayed in the figures. A glossary is also included. (Contains 20 tables, 7 figures, and 10 footnotes.) [This report was prepared for Federal TRIO Programs, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education by American Institutes for Research.]

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