Opinion: Path to success is never walked alone

Nationally, more than 30 percent of students who enter college will drop out during the first year. RCTC has several programs in place to prevent you from becomng one of them. (Echo Photo by Abigail Furutani)

Take a selfie with two of your friends.

Now keep that photo on your cellphone as reminder. Odds are, one of you won’t be here by spring. Nationally, more than 30 percent of students who enter college will drop out during the first year.

Our plea to you is to make sure that you’re not one of the students who leaves RCTC before the school year ends. And as you work on your personal success, don’t forget about your friends beside you in the picture.

From Welcome Day, held five days before the first day of school, to Student Success Day, which is held every semester, RCTC has a vested interest in helping you succeed. The college flourishes when students return the following semester.

It’s a win-win-win outcome. Students expand their opportunities. Your future employer gets a well-trained and well-educated employee. And RCTC builds on its prestige as an education institution.

We’re off to an impressive start as more than 900 students attended Student Success Day, which offers a buffet of 40 relevant topics, such as “Test Anxiety” to ”How to Write a Fast Paper Without Trying So Hard” to foster academic achievement and “The Path to Purple” to offer guidance for transferring skills. Practical workshops such as “How to Secure a Scholarship” and “7 Steps to Financial Peace” help students with life skills.

The assistance continues year-round. RCTC’s Academic Support Center offers one-on-one and drop-in tutoring. It also provides services for disabled and multicultural students. The Comprehensive Learning Center, on the third floor of the Atrium, offers help with reading, writing, math and computer applications. Five years ago, RCTC started the First Year Experience, a one-credit course designed for at-risk students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

And don’t think no one will notice if you fall behind. Faculty members are regularly reminded by email to use an online tool to notify administrators about students who are struggling or attending classes sporadically. The goal is to intervene before a student has no choice but to withdraw from class.

The message is clear: You don’t have navigate the path to graduation by yourself. The faculty and staff are with you every step of the way.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to seek out help when you need it. And while you’re doing that, keep an eye out for your friends.

That’s because you have a date to take another selfie with your besties wearing caps and gowns at graduation.

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