Student Support Services takes student success rate from 8 to 55 percent

Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 12:00am

Student Support Services is a program to help students on CEU's campus. Students who qualify for this program are first-generation students, meaning neither of their parents earned a bachelor's degree; low-income students whose taxable income meets SSS federal guidelines and those with disabilities, meaning they have a documented learning or physical disability.

The director of the program is Brad Watson. He is originally from Missouri but was raised in Orem, Utah. He attended college at UVSC and received his bachelor's degree from BYU in psychology. He attended Western Illinois University where he received his master's degree in college student personnel. He eventually wants to achieve his doctorate in higher education.

He taught in Mitchell, S.D. at Dakota Wesleyan. He liked it in Mitchell because it is a small school and he knew all of the people that he worked with as well as all of the students on campus. He liked the closeness and the people.

After working in Mitchell he moved to Price to work at CEU. He started the SSS program in March 2002. Watson said, "I love working with the people I do; I have a great staff. They really are excellent people."

The main idea for the program is to help different students succeed, graduate and eventually transfer to a university. The percentage of these students that graduate from a two-year school is 8 percent without this program. With the program the rate is 55 percent. However, the SSS staff cannot help those who do not ask.

The curriculum they provide in the SSS office is academic advising, career counseling, financial aid, transfer advising, free tutoring and study-skills workshops. Watson said, "I love working with students to see the ah ha moments."

Other than SSS, Watson has also been involved with ASCEU Leadership. He teaches principles of effective leadership (POEL) and occasionally college success skills. He likes teaching and helping as many students as he can.

Outside of the college, assembling Legos is one of the things that he enjoys most. There is a website with over 10,000 adult Lego fanatics called lugnet.com. On this website are several complex Lego constructions. Watson loves to look at all the things people have been able to create. He loves putting together his own Lego designs. That is one of the things he does not love about Price, Watson said, "I need a Toys-R-Us,"

Besides Legos, he also loves the stage, "once my children are a little older, I hope to participate more in the theatre." In high school he was the lead in "Barefoot in the Park". He admits to being in over 20 plays.

A student who Watson works with, Patty Axelsen, offered her insight about the SSS program. "I love the individual counseling. It is so nice to sit down and talk to someone and not have 100 people waiting."

The SSS program is a helpful program that has changed many lives.

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