Our college’s School of Social Work is profiled in the FIU Magazine’s article on the Graduation Success Initiative, an effort by FIU to improve graduation rates, which has received national attention. Our college’s own Shimon Cohen, Academic Advisor for undergraduate social work students is highlighted as part of the initiative helping students like Shanice Lum You. From the article:
Shimon Cohen was the advisor to both Cifuentes and to Shanice Lum You. The GSI digital tools provide him with countless ways to keep up with his students. For instance, he can generate student reports based on GPA.
Those who are falling below 2.0 hear from him. He asks questions like: “What are you going to do differently to improve your grades?” If they say, “Study more,” Cohen asks, “How do you study more? Maybe how you study is the issue.”
And then he makes it real. “They have to sign a contract that is an action plan to get back in good academic standing,” he said.
The My_eAdvisor tools also allowed Cohen to detect an issue that was creating hardship for social work majors. The prerequisites that students struggled with the most – statistics, economics and American government – were all crammed into the same semester.
“So the first thing we did was redo the map so those three classes are in different semesters,” Cohen said.
Cohen still communicates regularly with Lum You. She’s on track to graduate in December 2014. Meanwhile, she’s hoping to land an internship in child welfare or foster care.
“The fact that I’m applying for an internship says I’m almost done,” she said. “I’m excited to get out there and make a difference in people’s lives.”
One more way we are working to be the change our community needs. Read the full piece at FIU Magazine.