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Student Advising Spring 2017 Update

The pilot Student Advising Program at LCNV is growing steadily. LCNV currently has five trained volunteer student advisors along with two staff who also act as supplemental advisors for this free program. The advisors are working with approximately fifty students in our morning and evening Level 3 ELL classes at James Lee Community Center. Advisors meet with each student at the start of the semester to get to know the student, help them set goals and begin to lay out a pathway for their future learning and career development at LCNV and beyond. At the end of the semester, the advisor meets with each assigned student again. As part of a collaborative support team of teachers and staff, advisors determine whether students are better served continuing at LCNV or moving on to a higher-level program. If students are prepared to take that next step, advisors assist the student in transitioning to an organization that will help them advance their goals. Advisors may also meet with students who have specific needs that come up during the semester.

When asked about the advising program, here's what some of LCNV's advisors had to say:

"It is gratifying to be able to offer students some individual attention and time to explore how their classes at LCNV fit into their overall goals. Some people haven’t given much thought to their bigger goals. Learning English to any degree is certainly a huge goal in itself and as an advisor, I can prompt them to think about what they might like to do and how we can help them find the right path through our program and then to find where to go next. Some students are very clear about their goals but many of them lack the knowledge of the various kinds of programs and educational opportunities that exist as well as the types of jobs that match their interests. Our students seem surprised that we offer advising and are grateful for our interest. We give them time and space to think out loud about their future plans.

If I had to characterize our students, I would say 'eager': eager to learn English, eager to progress in their education or job training, eager to become a fuller part of the community." - Carol Ashworth, LCNV Board Member, Volunteer Advisor

"I am new to the advising program and had the opportunity to meet with a dozen Level 3 students at the beginning of the semester. I found it incredibly inspiring to learn about their dreams and goals for their lives in this country. Each talked about how important learning English is to reaching his or her goals. I was especially impressed by the high level of motivation of each of the students I met with, and I am looking forward to reconnecting with them at the end of the semester." - Lesley Persily, LCNV Volunteer Advisor

"The interaction with the students is enlightening.  It is also rewarding to connect with individuals of different backgrounds who see the world through a different set of eyes." - Carol Washington, LCNV Volunteer Advisor

The LCNV advisors are all chosen for their interpersonal skills and ability to relate to others. The relationship formed between students and advisors promotes a special and unique connection to LCNV, and emphasizes LCNV’s core value of learner-focused programs. This connection strengthens the student’s identification as a member of our organization and gives them an understanding that we are there for them. It is our hope that the bond that develops will increase students’ likelihood of completing not only their current class, but the full LCNV program. We also hope that we will learn more about our students’ educational needs and goals, which will inform LCNV’s ongoing program improvement and course development efforts.

Author: Melissa Rea

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