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Center for College Success

First-Year Experience Program

The First-Year Experience (FYE) program is a comprehensive learning community that serves incoming freshman at The National Hispanic University. National studies indicate that the highest dropout rate is between the first and second years. FYE program then decreases this likelihood by providing academic and personal support in order to promote academic confidence and success, which in turn will lead to persistence to graduate.

The First-Year Experience program is inclusive to all NHU students, but primarily targets first-time students with less than 30 units of course credit by placing them in specific General Studies cohort day courses. FYE then places peer tutors in varied cohort classes to provide student support inside and outside the class. Besides tutoring, FYE also provides students social and personal counseling services, as life, often times than not, interferes with student studies. First-year students will also benefit from academic advising and social activities, while faculty teaching in cohorted classes benefit from professional development workshops regarding best practices in teaching new college students. FYE also works closely with the financial aid office to help close the gap in financial need. The program believes strong support of the first-year student is the key to producing a successful undergraduate.

The First-Year Experience program is overseen by the Director of the Center of College Success, followed by the Retention Specialist. The implementation and development of this program was funded by a grant from Applied Materials in 2008.

Student Academic Assistance Program

The Student Academic Assistance Program (SAAP) coordinates an important range of academic support services for students who are enrolled at the National Hispanic University.


The SAAP tutorial program is designed to assist students with their academic challenges. The program emphasizes faculty interaction and one-on-one and/or small group tutoring and learning services. Tutors provide academic assistance in mathematics, reading, writing and study skills to help students develop the necessary skill level to ensure success in college. The role of the SAAP tutors is to guide students in the development of their academic skills and guide them on how to become self-directed learners. Furthermore, the SAAP tutorials are incorporated into the curriculum of developmental English and Math courses, that is, English 40, English 45 and English 100, as well as Math 40, Math 45 and Math 100 in order to provide students with one-on-one tutoring and feedback tailored to their individual and specific needs. These tutorial services prepare students for the more rigorous upper-division courses and are offered to all enrolled NHU students free of charge.

Testing Services and Software

The SAAP personnel also administer a number of tests including placement test/Accuplacer for new incoming students, Spanish and translation tests for students entering the Translation and Interpretation program, and the Junior Writing Proficiency Exam (JWPE), which students must take and pass in order to satisfy the University’s writing requirement. Additionally, a number of software programs including English as a Second Language and Critical Thinking Skills are installed on the SAAP computers for NHU students to use as part of their academic preparation.

Career Services

The SAAP provides general assistance with job placement services primarily by posting job openings on the bulletin boards. Moreover, the SAAP personnel assist students with writing resumes and any other written requirements such as statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, and scholarship applications and essays.

Student Success Program

The Student Success Program (SSP), a federally funded Student Support Services (SSS) project, is committed to assist 160 undergraduate students who are low-income, first in their families to graduate from college, and those with disabilities through the transition of graduating from high school and entering college. TRiO Programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. Nationally, students who participate in the Student Support Services program are more than twice as likely to remain in college as those students from similar backgrounds who do not participate in the program.

SSP participants will benefit from the following services: Personal and Academic Advising, Career Exploration, Study Groups, Volunteer Information, Discussion and Interest Groups, Workshops related to College Success, Financial Literacy workshops, Graduate School Information, and Cultural Enrichment Activities. In addition to assisting students to graduate from college, the SSP helps motivate students to get involved and utilize the resources on campus and in the community by modeling leadership and the “Si Se Puede” (Translation: “It can be done”) philosophy at NHU. The SSP also facilitates the Summer Bridgeprogram, in collaboration with the Center for College Success which provides incoming college freshman with an introduction to what the college experience entails. The Summer Bridge program allows students to integrate into the campus community, build confidence, and get well acquainted with the resources available at the university. Summer Bridge prepares students for the college experience but also helps participants build relationships with other students, staff, and faculty.

The Student Support Services program is funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and is one of the original TRiO Programs. TRiO programs help low-income, first-generation, and disabled students graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree to pursue the career of their choice or graduate degrees.