Day in and day out, our team at the Dell Scholars program supports students along the journey to college graduation – and there are some challenges we hear echoed on a daily basis. After helping hundreds of students address these common roadblocks, we can help others do so quickly and easily. Looking for tutoring resources? Piece of cake. Navigating financial aid verification? We’ve got you.
But sometimes, the support our students need isn’t on speed-dial. Whether they’re from a low-income household or are the first in their family to attend college, Dell Scholars are often overcoming significant personal challenges to pursue higher education. That’s why we created the Scholar Resource Network (SRN). In the style of an employee assistance program (EAP), the SRN provides more robust support for students struggling with personal and school-life issues: from confidential counseling to financial and legal guidance and more.
Since we launched the SRN in 2014, it has proven to be an invaluable resource for Dell Scholars – along with their spouses, children, and parents, all of whom benefit from these services. The support received is confidential, but scholars have shared that this service has helped them find an apartment, set up reliable childcare, access legal advice, and even connect with mental health counselors for stress and anxiety.
If you are someone supporting students to college graduation, here are a few insights we’ve learned over the years to provide our own students with the best possible support.
The SRN supports a growing need for mental health services.
Headlines are pointing to an unprecedented rise in anxiety and mental health problems among college students today. A recent survey of U.S. undergraduates by the American College Health Association found that more than 60 percent of students reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety at some point in the previous 12 months.
Through SRN, we are able to connect a student who is struggling with mental health issues with trusted professionals who can provide the counseling they need. Whether students are adjusting to life away from home, struggling with imposter syndrome, or grappling with the stress of college life, help is just a phone call away. Additionally, for those who may be intimidated by in-person counseling at their university, accessing help on the phone can be an important resource for them.
If you build it, they will come… if you remind them.
Take every opportunity to remind students that this resource exists and where they can access it. At Dell Scholars, the SRN is promoted during onboarding, on the homepage of our student portal, in every newsletter, and through webinars. Our Dell Scholars advisors refer students to these resources as relevant during their personal advising times and annual student check-ins. Ultimately, students can only benefit from the SRN if it comes to mind in the face of personal or school-life issues. Make sure to help students connect the dots!
SRN adds a tool to your toolkit. But it’s not one and done.
If a student is failing a course and reaches out for help, we may connect them with a tutor and suggest academic resources; from there, we continue monitoring and checking in, making sure this hiccup doesn’t knock them off the path towards graduation. The same active management approach applies when it comes to SRN. Our college success advisors serve as active participants in guiding these students to success and ensuring they find the help they need. The SRN is a valuable tool in our toolkit, but it’s an additional resource to the human relationship our scholars have with their Dell Scholars advisors.
With the Dell Scholars SRN, we’re all hands on deck! We have access to a range of experts – counselors, financial planners, attorneys, and more – to broaden the skillset and capabilities of our team, and better support our students in overcoming any challenges they might face to college graduation.
Have you introduced broader support services for your students? We would love to hear from you about what’s working in your program. Let us know @DellScholars!