Return to Program Profiles Adrian College

Adrian College Educational Success (ACES) participants attended 12 workshops during the 2008–2009 academic year. The workshops were held over the noon hour and included a light lunch. The focus of the workshops, and of the ACES program itself, was working with 17 Habits of Mind. To facilitate this, a workbook was written to describe the Habits and suggestions for applying them. Two Habits were selected for most of the workshops, and students were led in presentation and discussion by the authors of the chapters.
Three “check-in” workshops also were held that included a presentation and discussion of one Habit of Mind, with the remainder of time reserved for mentors and students to discuss their academic progress and scheduling for the following semester.
Faculty and staff mentors, who were themselves first-generation students, met with their mentees eight times during the semester to review the Habits, orient students to college life, and provide general support. In the second year of the program, the students from the previous cohort were particularly helpful to the new students.


Program Outcomes

An increased retention rate was the most notable outcome of the program. The first-to-second-year retention rate for the first group of ACES students was 85 percent, which is significantly higher than the 2008–2009 overall first-to-second-year retention rate of 74 percent. The workbook used in conjunction with the series of workshops was submitted for publication, and will provide a tool for other institutions to create similar workshops on their campuses. Also, students in the program report high levels of satisfaction with the workshops, and this resulted in improved academic performance. The institution was strengthened because of the program.


Program Updates

The ACES program has continued much as designed, although scaled back due to finances. The revised program still includes 20 first-year students who apply to participate, but the voucher amounts were reduced to $100 per semester. The compensation of the faculty and staff mentors was established at $100 per year. Second- and third-year students have undertaken leadership of some of the Habits of Mind presentations with great success.