Once students arrive on campus, the context and setting of DTS’s support necessarily shifts, but the program continues to be informed by our holistic, multi-Touchpoint approach, encompassing health and wellness, academic support, family engagement, executive functioning skills, and career readiness.
Our full-time College Access and Success Counselor works with students on a weekly basis via FaceTime and telephone. During these check-ins, a variety of topics may be covered, including time management, maintaining a healthy balance among coursework, clubs, friends and personal time, creating a study schedule, feelings of homesickness, culture shock, social issues, imposter syndrome, campus incidents, racial discrimination, connecting to the campus community, and campus resources. Students may be assigned tasks that push them out of their comfort zones, such as attending office hours or making an appointment at the campus writing center. The DTS Counselor oversees course selection to make sure that students are appropriately challenged and not stretched too thin.
DTS prepared me for college life. Being a first generation college student, it was a relief to arrive on campus already knowing what to expect. – Brittany, College Student
Semester Break Meetings and Activities
Three times per year, our College Access and Success Counselor meets individually and in-person with each DTS college student. They discuss the previous semester or year, reflecting on what went well and what could be improved, and set goals for the next semester or year. Students may also meet with our Co-Executive Director and our Health and Wellness Director.
DTS arranges group outings, such as hikes and beach days, where students can reconnect. College breaks provide a meaningful space for students to share what they’ve learned, both academically and emotionally. College students also are invited to speak during the DTS Bridge to High School program and to serve as mentors for the younger DTS classes. College students are encouraged to send regular updates about campus life, which reinforces the all-DTS college-going culture. Our summer book clubs for high school students are conducted by our college students, and the books read are selected by our college students, often from their college course reading lists.
DTS understands that our students need extra support throughout college in a variety of areas and ways, so we provide our students with all that they need for their initial entry to college and continue to provide additional support as necessary. DTS ensures that students have dorm room supplies, a functioning computer, and proper clothing for winter for those heading to colder climates. We purchase textbooks and cover unexpected costs associated with malfunctioning computers, broken eyeglasses, medical needs, and family emergencies. We also provide scholarship support for students who do not receive sufficient financial aid, and airfare when needed.
DTS provides financial aid forms completion support and budgeting support. Our College Access and Success Counselor maintains relationships with college faculty, administrators, advisors and other on-campus providers. She also facilitates supportive connections among parents and is available to discuss financial aid awards.
Sharing the college application experience with the whole cohort really made us closer and made me see how we all share very similar, but also different, struggles. Keeping in contact throughout college has kept the bond consistently strong. – Jacqueline, College Student
At each college that DTS students attend, our College Access and Success Counselor directly liaises with at least one faculty member or multi-cultural support staff member. This connection expands DTS’s support by providing a direct line of communication between DTS and an adult on campus. Through the campus contact, DTS may provide or obtain critical information to help a student that may be struggling or need some assistance which is not feasible to provide from afar.