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Brookhaven College Counselors Contribute to Students’ Skill and Identity Development Presenters: Beverly Neu Menassa, LPC-S Assistant Dean, Student Support.

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Presentation on theme: "Brookhaven College Counselors Contribute to Students’ Skill and Identity Development Presenters: Beverly Neu Menassa, LPC-S Assistant Dean, Student Support."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brookhaven College Counselors Contribute to Students’ Skill and Identity Development Presenters: Beverly Neu Menassa, LPC-S Assistant Dean, Student Support Services Dr. Rhonda Dalrymple, Psychologist Professional Counselor

2 Objectives Creation (in the beginning) Creative Failures Creative Successes It’s All About the Data Star Award

3 In the Beginning In 2009, Brookhaven hired its first Full-Time Professional Counselor in 10 years. It was a Faculty-driven position. So, during the second month of my employment, (during the Spring 2009 Semester), I created a survey for Faculty to determine topic preference for a workshop series. 55 Faculty responded.


5 Summer ‘09 (AKA The Lonely Days) Summer 2009 Called the workshops, Student Support Group Focused on Skill Development: – Note-taking Skills – Study Skills – Test-taking Strategies Amateur Flier No students attended.

6 What’s in a Name? We wanted to emphasize Skill Development. We did not want to increase the work in students’ lives: – Classwork – Homework – Housework – Work Work (Jobs) So, we avoided the commonly used term “Work”shop.

7 Catchy SkillsShop Titles Time Flies. Be the Pilot. Time Management Strategies From Anxiety to Excellence: Test-Taking Strategies What’s Your Style? Learn How You Learn Final Exams! Work! Family! Holidays! Stress Management Strategies Avoid Brain Drain. Concentration and Study Strategies Can You Hear Me Now? Active Listening and Communication Skills Hanging Out, Hooking Up, Falling in Love Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships Mean People Stink! Dealing with Difficult People Afraid of the Math Monster? Techniques to Overcome Math Anxiety

8 Creative Scheduling SkillsShops are 1 hour sessions. Wanted to weave the SkillsShops seamlessly into students’ lives. Many students only come to campus to attend class. Strategically schedule SkillsShops to meet before or after classes.

9 The SkillsShops are Born Fall 2009 Abandoned the Student Support Group title for SkillsShops. Offered 13 SkillsShops. Made an impassioned plea to Faculty to promote the SkillsShops. Amateur Flyer 96 students attended. Most Popular SkillsShop: Less Stress, More Success

10 Creating the Logo

11 The SkillsShops Redesigned Fall 2010 Offered 12 SkillsShops. Worked with Marketing to create the SkillsShop Logo. 228 students attended. Most popular SkillsShops: – Less Stress, More Success – Show Me the Money! Money Management and other Life Skills.

12 Identity Development As Mental Health Counselors, we really wanted to incorporate SkillsShops that would help students manage emotions, move through autonomy, and develop mature relationships. New (and not very successful) SkillsShops for Fall 2011 Included: – Necessary Endings: How to Cope When a Relationship Ends. – Helping a Friend in Need: How to Recognize and Refer a Troubled Friend. – Why am I Feeling so Sad? – Single with Kids? How to Balance Your Busy Life – Party Safe! Drink Safe!

13 Creative Failures Fall 2011 Offered 18 SkillsShops Worked with the Veteran Center in Mesquite and attempted to reach Veterans. Attempted to focus more on Mental Health concerns. 194 student attendees 0 Veterans Attendees Most attended SkillsShops: – Time IS on Your Side – Less Stress, More Success Least attended SkillsShops: – SkillsShops for Veterans – Necessary Endings – Why am I Feeling so Sad? – Party Safe! Drink Safe!

14 Identity Development We did not give up! We just got more inventive with our presentations and more creative with our titles. More successful SkillsShops include: – Afraid of the Math Monster? Techniques to Overcome Math Anxiety We incorporate discussions about coping with anxiety and/or panic attacks. – Mean People Stink! How to Deal with Difficult People We help students identify that they may be a difficult person (in a gentle way, of course).

15 Identity Development – The Glass IS Half Full: Strategies for Positive Thinking. We present the core premise of cognitive therapy. (How I think has a direct impact on how I feel.) We also present symptoms of depression. – Fight Stage-Fright: Relaxation Techniques for Public Speaking This is another way for us to discuss anxiety and/or panic attacks. – Hanging Out, Hooking Up, Falling in Love: Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships This is a way for us to help students understand that their relationship may not be very mature or healthy.

16 Creative Successes Fall 2012 Offered 15 SkillsShops Partnered with Mutual of Omaha Bank to provide a Financial Literacy Series. 305 students attended. Most popular SkillsShops: – Hanging Out, Hooking Up, Falling in Love – Don’t Drown in Debt: Tips for Understanding Credit – Avoid Brain Drain: Concentration and Study Strategies

17 More Creative Successes Fall 2013 Offered 19 SkillsShops. Kept the Financial Literacy Series but asked an interested Brookhaven accounting professor to present the information. QEP Slogan is Reading: The App for Life, so worked with QEP committee and Reading Instructors and created a series to support the QEP. Also offered a Stay Safe Series. 455 students attended. Most popular SkillsShop: – Is My Relationship Healthy – Happiness is Always an Inside Job: Strategies for Positive Thinking – Money, Money, Money, Monnnneeeyyy: Tips on Money Management

18 Change is Good Fall 2014 Offered 19 SkillsShops. Worked on creating more collaborations with faculty to increase involvement and commitment to the SkillsShops. Created a Wellness theme to keep SkillsShops new and fresh. 394 students attended. Faculty and Staff presented 8 of the SkillsShops: Coach Nurse Sustainability Program Director Reading Faculty Accounting Faculty Most popular SkillsShops: Urge to Splurge? Strategies for Saving, Income Taxes, and Reducing Spending. Developing Active Listening and Communication Skills

19 More Change Online SkillsShops Spring 2014 On March 28, 2014 the Counselors rolled out Online SkillsShops. Online SkillsShop Topics include: Study Skills Test-Taking Strategies Techniques to Overcome Math Anxiety Time Management Strategies Students completed 239 Online SkillsShops during the Spring 2014 Semester. Students completed 245 Online SkillsShops during the Fall 2014 Semester.

20 It’s All About the Data How many students attend? (sign in sheets) Are they satisfied? (5 point Likert scale satisfaction survey) Did they learn something? (pre- and post-test) Do students who attend the SkillsShops make better grades than students who do not attend?



23 Satisfaction Surveys Please rate each statement below using the following scale: 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Unsure/Not Applicable 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly Agree Overall Presentation: _____The material covered in this presentation was helpful for me as a student. _____ I will apply information learned from this presentation to my coursework. _____The length of the presentation was sufficient and maintained my interest. _____The handouts and materials I received today will be useful to me in the future. _____I am glad my instructor recommended or scheduled this presentation. The Presenter: _____Is knowledgeable of the subject matter and answered questions thoroughly. _____Was organized and well-prepared. _____Explained information in an understandable way. _____Engaged participants and encouraged questions. _____Helped me realize how this material was related to my success as a student. Something I learned as a result of this presentation that I will definitely use is: Something that could be changed to improve this presentation is: Do you have any suggestions or requests for future presentation topics?

24 Are Students Satisfied?

25 Learning Objective – Pre- and Post-Test for the Less Stress, More Success SkillsShop: List two physical and two emotional symptoms of stress. – Pre- and Post-Test for the The Glass IS Half Full: Strategies for Positive Thinking SkillsShop: List at least 3 steps you can take to identify and counter negative thinking. – Pre- and Post-Test questions for Is My Relationship Healthy SkillsShop: Name three warning signs/red flags of controlling behavior. List two things you can do to get out of a controlling situation.

26 Pre-Test / Post-Test Results

27 Extra Credit is a BIG DEAL!

28 Does Attending SkillsShops Improve Students’ Grades?

29 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 2013 Star Award for Closing the Gap Recognizes exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more of the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015. General Eligibility: – Program must be in operation for at least 3 years; – Demonstrate successful outcomes in student participation, student success, academic excellence, or research that are attributable to the program. – Demonstrate an efficient cost/benefit ratio per student. – Clearly demonstrate improvement and excellence over time.

30 Demonstrating Efficient Cost/Benefit Ratio The cost of operating the Brookhaven College SkillsShop Program is approximately $2,000 per year. Counselors are paid an average of $33 per hour; adding preparation time, the total wage is $1,716. The remaining $284 covers student resource materials. The Brookhaven College Marketing and Creative Services Department creates attractive flyers; however, the counselors distribute very few paper copies. Most of the promotion is by word of mouth, online, and via large electronic monitors around campus that are used for promoting all Brookhaven College programs at a rate of $3.87 to $5.98 per SkillsShop attendee. As the results show, this is an extremely cost-effective model to help close the gap.

31 There were 50 nominations for the award from among the state's two- and four-year colleges and universities. There were eight finalists. There were three award winners.




35 In Memory of Virginia Clemente

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