Viking Roads Promises to Help Students Stay on Track

A new program at WCC that promises to help students graduate in three years or less is in development and set to begin for the fall semester of 2018. The program is called Viking ROADS, giving students assistance in forms of financial aid, personalized counseling, and navigation of various services offered on campus.

Colleges, especially two-year schools, tend to have a large number of dropouts. A student may drop out for many different reasons, ranging from not being able to afford tuition, having trouble keeping grades up, or becoming disinterested from lack of direction. Viking Roads aims to help students avoid these pitfalls and ease the financial burden.

“This [Viking ROADS] was modeled after the CUNY ASAP program which started in 2007,” said Leonore Rodrigues, Interim Director of the Viking ROADS program. “The students of the first group of the CUNY program graduated 53% compared to 22% of students not in the program. So, they more than doubled their graduation rate.”

Perhaps one of the most enticing benefits of the program is the financial assistance given to enrolled students. If an eligible student receives any financial aid at all, the program will pay the remainder of the student’s tuition.

“If the student gets any kind of aid, even a tiny bit, we will be able to cover the rest,” Rodrigues said. In addition, the eligible student will receive $500 a semester towards textbooks, and a $50 monthly stipend for gas and food.

“This Viking ROADS was modeled after the CUNY ASAP program which started in 2007 […] they more than doubled their graduation rate.” — Leonore Rodrigues, Interim Director of Viking ROADS

In addition to the financial aid, students will also receive personalized counseling.  Students in the program will be assigned an academic counselor that they will meet with twice a month the normal counseling process is for students see whichever counselor is available. Students will have an opportunity to see a counselor who they can build a relationship with, someone who gets to know the student and can offer personalized advice and direction.

Students will also be required to attend certain seminars and workshops while in the program. If the student is having difficulties with some of their classes, they will be required to see tutors and attend additional counseling sessions. These tutoring and counseling services will of course be available and beneficial to all students enrolled in the program.

The 2018 Fall semester will see the launch of this program and the first group will have up to 100 students. Students who qualify will have to be first time students who are New York State residents and are enrolled full time. Additionally, students must have no more than two developmental classes and the program is only available for students in certain majors.

This will be the first stage of the program, and it will potentially expand to include more majors and perhaps allow a larger number of students in the future.

For a list of eligible majors and more information about the program or to apply, students can visit the WCC website.

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