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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Outreach and recruitment is active online

Despite the campus closure, outreach and recruitment staff have continued their work of connecting with incoming students, using Google Meet, Zoom or even phone calls, which is located in the Student Services at City College Wednesday, May 7, 2020. (Arturo Gomez/[email protected])

In a typical summer the more than 2,000 new students enrolled for City College’s 2020 fall semester would meet in person with an outreach specialist to learn about programs and services offered on campus. But this year college outreach and recruitment staff are doing things differently. 

 “Since the closure, we have transitioned all of the resources we provide online,” said Tania Herndandez, City College’s outreach specialist.

Hernandez explained that outreach’s current priority is identifying first-year college students and trying to get in touch with them to set up virtual meetings with a success coach.

“For the past four years, we have held a Summer Bridge program with a goal to get success coaches connected with students,” said Hernandez.

In the Summer Bridge program, new students connect with their assigned success coaches, paid City College graduates, to talk about tutoring services, study skills and to help answer questions the first-time college students may have. According to Hernandez, the Summer Bridge program takes place before students’ first year on campus to make sure they are prepared for their new college experience. 

Hernandez said that the college plans to continue the Summer Bridge program online to get selected success coaches connected with students.

“In the Summer Bridge program, the success coaches remind their students to sign up to be part of the First-Year Experience program,” said Hernandez.

In the First-Year Experience program, new students will work with counselors to plan their classes, get meal voucher cards and meet a team of students and staff ready to help, according to Hernandez. Student participants will also have a student peer mentor because outreach knows students relate better to other students. If students complete the online Summer Bridge program, they will be able to join the First-Year Experience program.

Before the college closed, the outreach staff coordinated and offered City Jam sessions every Friday, which allowed first-time City College students to get one-on-one help filling out financial aid applications, creating an educational plan and enrolling in classes. City Jams are normally in-person orientation sessions where students can get one-on-one support. 

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City Jam sessions are still held Monday through Friday by appointment, but now they are completely virtual, Hernandez said. Students can sign-up on the City Jam section of the City College website and attend the virtual orientation via Zoom.

“Outreach and recruitment are adapting to helping students on a case-by-case basis, typically using Google Meet, Zoom or even phone calls,” said Hernandez.

Despite the campus closure, outreach and recruitment staff have continued their work of connecting with incoming students. 

“With schools being shut down due to the pandemic, we are doing a check-in with all our feeder schools to see how the pandemic has affected them and provide support,” said Hernandez.

Students who transfer to City College from high school typically attend an orientation, meet with a counselor and prepare for financial aid with the help of outreach and recruitment, according to Hernandez. The preparation process has changed since moving online. Outreach has created a Canvas page for first-time college students to organize the programs information.

“We are also there to help students who didn’t get into the university of their choice, or later decide they want to go to City College,” said Hernandez. “We can help them through the application process.” 

Outreach staff are also getting in contact with first-time students to see any other services they need. Hernandez said that outreach staff understands that it’s difficult to hold students’ attention online, so they are going to make adjustments like shortening program sessions to keep students’ attention.

Students meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for about an hour through the video chat platform Zoom for the sessions, Hernandez said. Outreach will have students who have participated in the First-Year Experience in their first year to help new students.

“We know this is all new to everyone, so we try to move as quickly as possible for students,” Hernandez said.
For more information about these first-year programs, students can visit the outreach and recruitment section on the City College website for resources.

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