Jul 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Gaston College Student Handbook 

Student Success and Retention


From the first day of class to graduation, the Department of Student Success and Retention (SSR) helps students stay on track by helping them overcome any barriers, and by providing tools, strategies, and personal support that will assist with academic and personal success. The SSR holds fast to the idea that all students have the ability to succeed and achieve through full use of the resources and application of the strategies provided. For additional information, please visit our website here. The following programs are part of Student Success and Retention.

Personal Counseling Services

Counselors are available to discuss academic, social, or personal concerns that may interfere with student success. Students who need personal counseling beyond a few sessions will be referred to community resources or to Student Outreach Services (SOS) to be assisted more effectively. SOS is a school-sponsored benefit that offers the support and resources students need to address personal and education-related challenges and concerns through access to clinicians 24/7/365 at 800.633.3353.

Career Services

The counseling staff provides career guidance to students who need help with making decisions regarding educational and career goals. Counselors use a variety of interest inventories and online resources to assist students in the career exploration process. The GC Career Portal is available to help students find good careers by providing the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training. Students can access the Career Portal from the College’s homepage here.

Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services will assist and advise students with documented disabilities in arranging academic support and reasonable accommodations. Accommodations will be arranged on an individual basis, specific to the student’s needs. The goal of Accessibility Services is to provide students with disabilities with necessary accommodations so they may compete on an equal basis in the classroom with their peers. Students must meet with the Accessibility Counselor and provide all necessary documentation prior to receiving accommodations. Thereafter, students will need to meet with the Accessibility Counselor each semester to renew the accommodation plan and continue to receive their accommodations.

Accessibility Services serves as a resource to students, faculty, and staff on issues related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For more information, contact the Accessibility Counselor at 704.922.6224. Accessibility Services is located in the Craig Building (CAS), Room 221 (Dallas Campus).

For information regarding students’ rights, responsibilities, documentation guidelines, accommodations, and other resources, please refer to The Student Guide to Disability Policies & Procedures. This guide is available in the Office of Student Affairs and on the College website.

Early Alert

The Department of Student Success and Retention manages the College’s Early Alert system utilizing the AVISO software platform. This reporting system provides a tool for staff, academic advisors, and faculty to work collaboratively concerning students’ academic performance in a course, including: attendance, homework completion, study skills, motivation, class participation, and grades. The purpose of an Early Alert is to:

  • Provide feedback concerning students’ overall performance in a course
  • Give suggestions/strategies for students to improve
  • Enable the College to better identify and intervene with students

Student Emergency Assistance Program

The Student Emergency Assistance Program (SEAP) was developed to assist students with academic-related emergencies that typically derail their academic progress. The Gaston College Foundation raises funds to support this program. Students can apply for a maximum of $200 per academic year for an immediate academic need that is deterring their success at Gaston College. Items covered under the fund include: tuition and fees, textbooks, and academic supplies such as required kits, tools, uniforms, tests, etc. After students complete and submit the application, a staff member from SSR provides assistance with the application process and later informs students if they are approved. Students are asked to write a letter of appreciation to the College Foundation. Application criteria and forms can be found on the SSR website here.

TRiO/Student Support Services

TRiO/SSS is a federally funded program. TRiO/SSS provides a supportive environment where students can feel comfortable asking for help. TRiO/SSS provides the student with a one-stop shop for all academic, personal, and career needs. Eligibility for Student Support Services is based on federally defined criteria. Students who meet at least one of the following criteria are welcome to apply:

  • Low Income
  • First Generation
  • Documented Disability

Participants must also:

  • be a US Citizen
  • plan to graduate from Gaston College
  • has not obtained a bachelor’s degree

TRiO/Upward Bound

TRiO/Upward Bound is a federally funded program that supports the College’s efforts to help high school students earn their high school diplomas and attend college. The program serves high school students from low income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. Program activities include tutoring, attending cultural events, a summer education component, and college tours. 

Learn 4 Life

This program was developed in order to help students enhance their experience and employability by earning the Learn 4 Life Award. This optional program involves hands-on learning, in-depth studies, and guidance along the way. After meeting all the requirements for the program, the student will receive recognition during graduation ceremonies. Applications for Learn 4 Life can be found online or they can be picked up in the Student Success and Retention suite in the Craig Arts and Sciences building.

Community Resources

It is evident that students need support beyond what the College is able to provide. Many students need food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other basics. SSR provides access to an online Community Resource Finder that is powered by Aunt Bertha. Through this platform, students can search by their location for numerous services that include food, housing, health care, personal goods, and much more. If you are in need of community resources, please visit our webpage here.