a. Build a trusting, respectful, and caring relationship with students from the beginning by ensuring that the first contact with prospective students is welcoming (e.g. there is someone to greet new students, there is clear signage and information in students’ languages) and informative. See Examples, Research and Tools.
b. Provide clear and accessible information to enhance students’ ability to make informed decisions. See Examples, Research and Tools.
c. Allow students to sample program activities before enrolling as well as clarify mutual expectations for students, instructors, and the program. See Examples, Research and Tools.
d. Assess students’ skill levels and screen them for learning disabilities or other special needs, and make referrals as appropriate. Provide potential students with enough information that they can make an informed decision about enrolling, including a realistic assessment of skill levels and the time and effort required for achieving their goals. See Examples, Research and Tools.
e. Build community by holding group orientations (where possible) for new students, during which students can get to know peers, establish rapport with staff and students, and find connections and commonalities across classrooms. See Examples, Research and Tools.
f. Help students plan for managing the positive and negative forces that will support or hinder their participation by:
- assisting them in strengthening the positive forces, such as identifying and/or building a support network;
- counseling them in addressing critical barriers to participation before placement in instructional services;
- referring them to agencies/services for assistance with non-academic needs.
See Examples, Research and Tools.
g. Discuss students’ persistence, learning and aspirations. Begin the process of exploring and articulating long and short-term goals, and of constructing a learning plan that addresses instructional and support services that move them toward their goals. See Examples, Research and Tools.
h. Engage students in considering opportunities and reasons for pursuing postsecondary education and training. See Examples, Research and Tools.
i. Involve current students in orienting new learners to the program, answering their questions, and providing peer guidance. See Examples, Research and Tools.