Part 12: Student Success Preparations

The College’s Accessibility Office offers many programs for vulnerable students.  Their level of contact with students is enormous, and their outreach efforts are extraordinary.  Issues related to students with vulnerabilities are highlighted in the College’s Orientation program for incoming students, which is now underway.

Students and other members of the community with physical challenges will be able to use elevators to access campus as needed and non-use of PPE for medical reasons will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis (with social distancing maintained).

Along with the leadership in the Division of Student Engagement, Guttman’s Connect Center and College’s communications teams has mounted wide and deep campaigns to acquaint students with student-facing services that can help to ensure their academic success.  New pages were created for Guttman’s website that feature student support and wellness opportunities.  Over the last year, many of these pages have been revised and updated to include or additional information.  The ability to link the students with city and federal service has been crucial.

The Guttman Connect Center, formerly the Single Stop Office, and the College’s Communications team have worked tirelessly to increase the College’s presence on social media. On average there has been a 60% engagement increase across all social media channels compared to the previous year. Also, throughout the year, the Division of Student Engagement and Success has presented weekly virtual meetings between VP Charles Pryor, members of the Office of Student Engagement and Success, and students.

Most importantly, under the leadership of Dana LePage, Director of the Guttman Connect Center team, financial and food insecurity support has been given to more students than ever before in the school’s history.  The GCC’s redesigned website (see guttman.cuny.edu/connectcenter) is far more user-friendly and informative than the previous site, and the Center has increased its own social media postings in the College’s Instagram account, often linking students to the applications portals for New York City and State financial hardship programs (for example, a slide for the NY State Rental Assistance Program that began on June 1, 2021).

Further, the Guttman Connect Center’s creation of an online depot through which students can apply for any type of emergency support has afforded students the means to apply for a variety of kinds of support (https://guttman.cuny.edu/students/connect-center/emergency-funding/).

Between July 1, 2020 and May 28, 2021, the Guttman depot received 450 total requests for emergency support.  More than 25% of these requests were for food support, and about 15% were seeking tuition support.  The College’s Food Pantry has served students throughout the pandemic period.