Student Support Services

Student Support Services

Student Support Services (SSS) Program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The SSS programs may also provide grant aid to current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next.

If you’re having difficulty in any of your classes, please seek help at the Tutorial Lab in Walker 102 as soon as possible.

“When there’s no way out of a situation, plow right through it!”

Participant Eligibility for Program Services

The program must serve 160 students each year who meet criteria which include low income (according to Department of Education guidelines), first generation (neither father nor mother has B.A. or B.S. degree), and disabled (physically or documented learning disabled). Two-thirds of the 150 students each year must be both low income and first generation. The remaining third can be any one or combination of the criteria.

Academic Assistance

One of the biggest adjustments to college can be in the area of academics. You may find that the academic pace and responsibilities of college are more demanding than what you experienced in high school. In attempting to keep the pace of your academic responsibilities, you may realize that you could use some help. The Student Support Services program offers you several avenues of academic assistance.

Counseling

The counseling component of the Student Support Services program consists of:

  • academic
  • personal
  • career counseling

The academic and career counseling are interrelated as a result of academic advisement that is given to students on a one-to-one basis and the many activities that are sponsored to assist students with a career decision. Some of these activities that help students identify a career include SIGI, the Holland Self-Directed Career Search, and a career site visit. Personal counseling is available and students are referred to off-campus counseling if the need is warranted.

Seminars, Workshops and Study Skills

Seminars and workshops on various topics are held weekly throughout each semester to assist students with academic and personal concerns. Some of the seminars held are:

  • Self-Defense
  • Building Relationships
  • Roommate Negotiations
  • Drug and Alcohol Awareness
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Money Management
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Career Panel
  • Preparing for Your Academic Future
  • Values Clarification
  • Goal Setting

Throughout the year, SSS will offer sessions on various areas of good study skills development. Study Groups are also held throughout the year to assist students with their classes. Below is a list of some of the topics covered in study skills sessions:

  • Time Management
  • Effective Note-Taking
  • Writing Research Papers
  • Preparing for Final Exams
  • Making A’s in College
  • Academic Check-Up

Tutoring

The Student Support Services program at SMC makes tutoring services available at no cost for any student. Peer tutors (students themselves) are trained by the Tutor Coordinator to provide the best available assistance in subject areas across the curriculum. Peer tutors are students of the highest academic standing. They generally have an overall 2.8 G.P.A. average and must demonstrate a “B” or better in the academic areas they will tutor. Peer tutors are often themselves enrolled in the SSS program. Study Groups are sometimes scheduled before tests and exams by the Tutor Coordinator. If you feel you need to arrange a study group, contact the Tutor Coordinator in Walker 105.

The Tutorial Lab is conveniently located on the first floor of the Walker Building in Room 102. The Tutor Coordinator’s office is located in Walker 105. Students may drop by this office during regular office hours (posted on the door) or set up an appointment to discuss concerns related to both tutoring and the Student Support Services program.

Tutorial service hours for fall and spring semesters at SMC are 9 am – 9 pm., Monday through Thursday. Students should see the Tutorial Bulletin Board in the hallway outside the Tutorial Lab for times available for specific course assistance and sign up accordingly.

Tutoring services are normally arranged on an as needed basis for summer sessions.

For further information regarding Tutoring Services at Spartanburg Methodist College, stop by the office in Walker 105 or contact the Student Support Services Tutor Coordinator at 587-4273.

Mentoring

The mission of the SSS Mentoring Program is to assist program participants who have shown a desire to improve their academic performance and overall grade point average. Peer mentors are selected according to G.P.A. and leadership qualities. They are then paired with students who request a mentor or are referred to the program by SSS Staff.

The M&Ms (mentors and mentees) meet on a weekly basis to discuss academic progress and needs (both academic and personal). In addition to this weekly meeting, the M&Ms meet weekly with the SSS counselor to discuss academic progress and academic strategies for improvement.

The Mentoring Program serves as a significant unit of the college to promote academic improvement and academic success, retention and graduation. This program is designed to provide a supportive and nurturing experience which encourages academic excellence, positive self-esteem, and personal growth.

A Mentor is Someone Who…
acts like an older brother or sister 
defends, and speaks for, the student when there is trouble
generates respect and trust 
assists students to think like winners 
teaches by example and direction 
provides a positive role model 
has something positive to contribute 
participates in activities designed to motivate students 
listens without judging 
discusses career-related topics 
helps figure out how to solve financial problems 
listens to personal problems 
gives advice on how to avoid or reduce problems 
does fun things 
tutors and helps build good study habits.

Resources

Student Support Services has laptops, tape recorders, and Franklin Spellers which can be checked out by our students. There is also a Kurzweil Reader available in the SSS office to assist students with reading and/or tests. The SMC Computer Lab, located in Walker 103, is open during the fall and spring semesters as follows:

  • Monday-Thursday: 8 am – 4 pm. & 5:30 – 9 pm
  • Friday:  8 am – 2 pm

Cultural Enrichment

Many of the students in the SSS program have limited exposure or no exposure at all to cultural events. Therefore, the SSS program provides tickets to various musical programs, plays, and other local opportunities.

In addition, SSS also provides a trip each year to tour area historical sites and four-year institutions which are located in nearby cities. Included below are some of the sites we have visited:

  • Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Historic Charleston, South Carolina
  • State Museum in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Cherokee Indian Reservation, Cherokee, North Carolina
  • Historic Atlanta, Georgia

Human Potential Seminar

The Human Potential class is a psychology class designed to strengthen students’ self-concept, values, and explore career exploration.

Transfer Program

The transfer segment of the SSS Program is designed to assist students currently enrolled at SMC in securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in a four-year institution.

A library of catalogs and admissions applications for area institutions is maintained in the SSS office in the Student Center. There is also a TV/VCR available so that students can view video tapes from a variety of colleges/universities. Our staff is available to assist you in completing admissions and/or financial aid applications. In addition, SSS will provide group trips to visit various college campuses for tours. If you choose to use your own vehicle to visit a four-year institution, we will pay your round-trip mileage from SMC and the cost of one meal. You are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to two visits to four-year institutions. Stop by our office and pick up a form that you need to take on your visit to be signed by an appropriate college official.

Any questions?! Stop by our office and we’ll be glad to help you!