SAC Annual Report 1996-1997

Annual Report
Student Affairs Committee

The Student Affairs Committee met in Saratoga Springs at the All College Conference April 11, 1996 with Mercedes Barry and Michelle Blake as co-chairs; at the governance retreat July 10, 1996; by telephone conference on September 9 and October 16, 1996; in Albany on November 21-22, 1996; and by telephone conference January 10 and March 14, 1997.

This year's committee, co-chaired by Joyce Haines and Maureen Kravec and Student Co-chair Paul Fields, fulfilled its charge to " act in behalf of students in the continuing study, review and recommendations for change in all phases of student involvement in the College" through undertaking several projects that it is hoped will enhance the quality of student life. These include gathering data on resources for student writing, sources of financial aid, services for students with disabilities, and opportunities for students of ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. Several other recommendations, including the institution of an annual student outcomes report, were also made.

1. Student Writing Skills

During the 1995-96 year, a student representative to SAC, through a learning contract in governance, conducted a survey of students at her center to discover what services they felt would most help them succeed in college. A top priority was assistance with writing skills. In response, SAC members Patricia Guarnieri and Jim Hickey formed a subcommittee that gathered information across the College about writing texts, computer-assisted programs and tutoring strategies. This information is available from the subcommittee, who hope to produce an informational booklet or disk. The subcommittee is planning to assist in planning a workshop on writing and thinking skills scheduled for fall 1997.

2. Financial Aid

Last year, in response to shrinking governmental sources of financial aid, SAC began working to provide students more information regarding financial aid opportunities. This year's subcommittee, chaired by Beverly Smirni and consisting of Joyce Haines, Erin Riley and Reynolds Jones, has been gathering information from both print and computer-based sources. SAC has requested Student Activity Fee funding from the Federation Board of Governors to help defray the expense of publishing a brochure and disk containing information on both in-house and external sources of financial aid.

3. Students with Disabilities

To continue an initiative begun last year, a subcommittee comprising Sylvain Nagler, Maureen Kravec and Rhoda Rudorfer-Stalder has begun conducting research on ways of enhancing services to students with disabilities. This subcommittee will report to SAC with hopes of accomplishing two goals:

A. to compile a list of students and alumni willing to lend their time and expertise to help students with disabilities to succeed in college; and

B. to research policies and procedures throughout SUNY to assist in the College's ongoing enhancement of services.

4. Annual Outcomes Report

SAC supported a proposal for an Annual Student Outcomes Report that would provide students with information on the status of their studies. We have forwarded our recommendation to APLPC and the Systems Priority Committee. Implementation of the new administrative system should make it possible to generate the report.

5. Affirmative Action/Services for Underserved Populations

In July, the College's Affirmative Action Committee asked SAC to consider ways to enhance services to students in ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. SAC has promoted awareness of efforts throughout the College such as focus groups, the Cultural Diversity Residency, and other local recruitment, retention and education efforts. SAC hopes to devote more time to this concern during the 1997-98 academic year.

6. Other Projects

SAC has supported and promoted several other projects, notably:

A. the Federation Board of Governors' request that center directors post and encourage participation by all centers and units in the nomination process for Who's Who Among American College Students.

B. student participation at the All College Conference.

C. use of learning contracts in local and college-wide governance as a learning opportunity for students.

D. the student bookmark contest. The first prize was awarded in absentia to Ann Belfield at the April 1996 All College Conference.

Several guests have attended meetings and provided information: Patrick Ryan, grants administrator, on grants and financial aid; Robert West, assistant vice president for development, on financial aid; Susan Oaks, CDL area coordinator for communications, arts and humanities, on The Writer's Complex; Joyce Elliott, center director, Northeast Center, on the Annual Student Outcomes Report; David DuBois, mentor, Genesee Valley Center, and Martin Thorsland, director of admissions and records and ADA coordinator, on issues regarding students with disabilities.

The members of the Student Affairs Committee wish to thank the many people throughout the College who have given advice and information. We hope to continue these efforts and to initiate others, during the 1997-98 academic year.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Haines and Maureen Kravec, Co-Chairs

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