The LEAD Program has put in place several structures to assess and help retain students in the program. These include Grant Aid, Early Warning Intervention, and scholarship and internship information. Participants also complete program evaluations at the end of the academic year to provide feedback regarding the program. The program has two main objectives: first, to increase the percentage of minority students completing college in four years. The second objective is to increase the percentage of minority students who apply and attend graduate and professional schools
LEAD students receive individual advising to determine their goals and needs to help develop their plans for success. LEAD counselors act as student advocates when participants encounter difficulties in college services and regularly monitor each participant’s progress so that intervention can reduce the student’s risk of failure. LEAD counselors work with departmental advisors, deans, and career and placement personnel to ensure that LEAD participants understand the many options available and the requirements that must be met for graduation. Participants receive ongoing academic support in time management, study skills development, and problem solving. Students are guided in developing plans for addressing academic weaknesses and receive recognition for academic success.
Effective study skills are essential for participants to achieve full academic potential. Many students may not enter college with the necessary knowledge and strategies that are most beneficial in boosting learning and alleviating stress. Among the many skills needed to study effectively, students must know how to manage their time, comprehend what is read, organize and prioritize tasks and goals, take adequate notes, be able to listen, discuss, and ask appropriate questions.
LEAD provides one-on-one tutorial assistance in some subjects (math, science, and foreign language) in which a student may have difficulty. We authorize three hours of tutoring in a specific class per week, depending upon the student's need and program budget. Each year we hire between 15-20 tutors. Most of our tutors have either junior or senior standing or are graduate students. We try to locate tutors who have taken the class previously from the same instructor, and who earned either an A or a B in the class. Faculty personally recommends many of our tutors. All tutors must submit at least one recommendation from a faculty member, preferably in the subject they want to tutor. In addition, all LEAD tutors receive tutor orientation and observation.
Counseling: Personal & Career
Personal counseling is available to participants in dealing with academic and non-academic problems. LEAD counselors can assist in the following areas: time-management, balancing life, work, school, and home, identifying personal goals, identifying potential barriers and proactive solutions, and identifying accomplishments. Referrals to the University Counseling Center or other agencies are made for problems outside the scope of our expertise.
Career guidance helps students explore educational and career options and links between academic preparation and the workforce. This will help students plan educational programs consistent with their interests and abilities. During the academic advising session some of the following points may be covered: discussion of both career goals and major goals, discussion of grades and strength areas in relation to careers and majors of interest, student research of career and major, exploration of internship opportunities, career fairs, Career Services referrals, job search skills and interview skills, short term and long term goals. Students are contacted via e-mail regarding internship opportunities and are also encouraged to review the internship notebooks in our office regularly. LEAD staff arranges small groups on writing resumes, cover letters, and interviewing techniques.
Financial Aid Advising
LEAD counselors assist participants in securing the most appropriate financial resources through individual counseling, program resources, referral, and liaison with the University’s Financial Aid Office. During the advising session, these major points may be covered: filling out and submitting the FAFSA before the deadline, applying for loans and scholarships, reviewing scholarship essays, work-study, and referral to a financial aid counselor.
Mentors are students who have displayed characteristics that reflect academic expertise, trustworthiness, caring, and reliability. They are skilled in the areas of effective time management, facilitative interpersonal communication, and good study habits. Mentor/mentee contacts can be social outings, phone calls, tutoring, and support sessions.
Students who are current participants in LEAD, who are in their first two years of postsecondary education and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants are eligible to receive grant aid. LEAD students who have completed their first two years of post secondary education and who are receiving Pell Grants are also eligible if the LEAD staff determine that these students are at high risk of dropping out and the needs of all eligible first and second year LEAD students have been met. In order to be considered for a grant aid award, the LEAD staff also uses the following criteria to determine eligibility and the amount of grant aid
The student must complete an application and submit a brief letter outlining why the grant aid award is needed.
Must have a least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
Must be attending workshops and cultural enrichment activities.
Must be actively using LEAD services i.e. counseling, tutoring, peer mentoring, etc.
Preference is given to first year first-time grant aid awardees.
Grant aid funds cannot exceed the maximum appropriated Pell Grant or be less than the minimum appropriated Pell Grant. Awards are placed in the student accounts to offset balances of tuition, university fees, or to pay down loans. If the student does not have a balance, refunds are due the student in their entirety. Credits are not issued for the upcoming semester or from one academic year to the next. Grant aid awards are not figured into the financial aid package of students in the program.
Early Warning Intervention
Before each midterm a list of LEAD participants is given to faculty so that they can inform the program’s staff of any weaknesses that they recognized from student exam performances, completion of assignments, or class attendance. This intervention allows LEAD counselors to work with faculty to assist students as soon as problems arise.
LEAD is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a participant is maintained confidential, as required by the federal regulation law on "Family Educational Rights and Privacy." Any information collected is used for the benefit of the student. This information may include midterm and final grades, rap sheets, disability information, income verification, and financial aid information. No one other that LEAD staff has access to participant files.