Jul 21, 2024  
2023-24 Gaston College Catalog and Student Handbook 

Student Success and Retention

Student Success and Retention (SSR) is committed to providing programs and services that contribute to the successful retention and graduation of Gaston students. From entry to graduation, SSR assists students by providing tools, strategies, and personal support that promote their academic and personal success. Student Success and Retention believes 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 SSR website. The following programs and services are offered through Student Success and Retention:

Counseling and Career Services

Counselors are available to discuss academic, social, or personal concerns that may interfere with student success. Students may drop in, email, or call Counseling and Career Services at 704.922.6220 to schedule an appointment with a counselor. Students who require personal counseling beyond a few sessions will be referred to community resources or to Student Outreach Services (SOS). 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. SOS services are free of charge for a limited number of sessions.

The Counseling Staff also provides career guidance to students who need help with decision-making related to 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.

Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services operates to provide equal access to higher education for students with disabilities. The Accessibility Counselor 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 Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.The office delivers comprehensive educational programming to students with documented disabilities, assisting them with obtaining academic support and reasonable accommodations. Through individualized support, Accessibility Services aims to provide students, effective and appropriate accommodations to achieve their educational and vocational goals.

Students seeking accommodations must meet with the Accessibility Counselor and provide all necessary documentation, to establish an accommodation plan. Thereafter, students should meet with the Accessibility Counselor each semester to renew the accommodation plan and continue receiving their accommodations. For more information, contact the Accessibility Counselor at 704.922.6224. Accessibility Services is located in the Craig Building (CAS), Room 221 (Dallas Campus).

Success Coaches

Success Coaches provide guidance and support for students as they transition to Gaston College. Success Coaches strive to build relationships with students with the goal of empowering and encouraging them throughout their educational journey.

What do Success Coaches do?

  • Assist students with college adjustment
  • Meet with students to identify and address challenges
  • Connect students with support programs and services
  • Monitor grades and attendance and connect students with learning support resources, if necessary
  • Collaborate with faculty to address students’ academic and personal concerns
  • Work with students to develop effective success strategies
  • Assist students with meeting academic, career, and personal goals

How are Success Coaches assigned?
After enrolling at Gaston College, students are assigned a Success Coach based on their program of study. First-year students are notified of their Success Coach through a Welcome email and phone call. Subsequent interactions will occur through in-person meetings, video-conference, phone, email, or Watermark Student Success and Engagement.

Watermark Student Success and Engagement
To promote student success across the College, the Student Success and Retention department manages the Watermark Student Success and Engagement software platform. This reporting system serves as 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 platform also allows users to submit alerts, which:

  • 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

TRiO Student Support Services

TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO SSS) is a federally-funded TRiO program designed to improve the retention, graduation, and transfer success of eligible participants. TRiO SSS prides itself in creating a welcoming environment, and provides academic, personal, financial aid, and transfer support for program participants. Students who meet the following criteria are welcome to apply:


  • Be enrolled in Gaston College
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Have a need for academic support
  • Meet at least one of the following:
    • Meet Federal Income Guidelines
    • First-Generation - Neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree
    • Documented Disability

Services provided through TRiO/SSS include:

  • Academic Advising
  • Priority Registration
  • Financial Literacy and Financial Aid Assistance
  • Academic Success Workshops
  • Transfer Planning
  • Volunteer and Community Involvement
  • Cultural and Social Events
  • Access to the TRiO/SSS Resource Center

TRiO Student Support Services is located on the Dallas Campus in the Robinson Classroom Building, 239. For additional information, contact TRiO/SSS at 704.922.2366 or at trio.sss@gaston.edu.

Basic Needs Assistance

If you are a student in need of basic assistance - food, housing, transportation, tuition, books, or other resources - we are here to support you. The Student Success and Retention department manages several campus resources that are available to assist you.

Emergency Assistance Program
Gaston College recognizes that students may encounter obstacles that can impact their ability to be successful in college. Thankfully, because of the contributions of private foundations, community members, and faculty and staff, the Gaston College Foundation has emergency funds to assist Gaston students who experience unexpected or unavoidable hardships. Expenses covered by the Emergency Assistance funds include, but are not limited to, tuition, books, academic supplies, and living expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities, gas, car repairs, and childcare). If you need support with any of these areas or other basic needs, please complete the Emergency Assistance Request Form. Once your request is received, a staff member in the Student Success and Retention Department will contact you via your Gaston College email account. 

Mo’s Pantry
Here at Gaston College, we believe every student should have enough food to meet their nutritional needs. Therefore, in an effort to eliminate food insecurity across the College, the Mo’s Pantry is available to assist ALL Gaston students. The pantry is a free resource that provides non-perishable food and personal care items to aid Gaston students. Students in need of assistance can connect with staff at 704.922.2366 or at mospantry@gaston.edu.

Community Resources

Student Success and Retention (SSR) strives to connect students with various resources that support their wellness and success. Because we recognize students require support beyond campus, 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 including food, housing, health care, personal goods, and much more. For more information or to search for available resources, please visit the Community Resource Finder.