We have drawn from the example of the SOAR Office and Honors Advising to envision the best case scenario for the advising of DCEP students.
Many of SIUE’s underserved students are currently receiving stellar advising, mentoring, and tutoring support from the SOAR Office (approximately 250 students). In addition, Howard Rambsy offers the six-credit FAME and GAME sequence for African American women and men, respectively. The first-semester course is attached to an English 111 and the second-semester course is English 205. The content for these courses privilege African American subject matter. The curriculum focuses somewhat on literature, but also other black expressive modes, like rap and spoken word. The course is designated as Humanities Breadth (BHUM) and Global Cultures Experience (EGC). All SOAR students have access to tutoring in the Student Success Center. However, FAME and GAME students are required to complete a certain number of tutor hours each week.
In August, a day before all first-year students arrive on campus, Dr. Rambsy and SOAR associates make it possible for GAME and FAME students to move in to the dorms. They host a welcome reception for them and their parents, siblings, and other family members (roughly 150 to 200 people). Every October, there is also a coordinated trip to the Underground Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. We would like to have a dedicated advisor to work with the 100 students in the Pathway, and we would like them to be a member of the experienced SOAR team so that students still benefit from the programs and advising in SOAR.
In preparation for the Pathway, committee members Michael Hankins and Jessica DeSpain interviewed Ian Toberman and Eric Rukh on several occasions about advising and mentoring within our Honors Program. As the dedicated Honors advisor, Ian provides an exceptional level of hands-on mentorship with students as they choose their program of study in the Honors program and beyond. Students in Honors also received priority enrollment for new courses. DCEP students would also benefit from having a mentor dedicated to their unique course of study.