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Jaylin Drewry Quoted in SCHEV Press Release

by Laura Osberger -

News Release: SCHEV Issues Report on Critical Issues Impacting Student Success and Completion Post

For immediate release

Richmond - Virginia. College and university students need more support to be successful in higher education, according to a new report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). These supports should focus on college/life preparedness; basic needs; sense of belonging; and mental health and well-being.

The SCHEV report is a culmination of a year-long study of the college experience and issues that impact student success, which were exacerbated by the pandemic. The report, “What Matters Most: Critical Student Issues Impacting their Higher Education Experience, Persistence and Completion,” includes recommendations that complement the work currently underway by student affairs representatives and focuses on ongoing collaboration to scale best practices, and targets resources where they are most needed.

The report identified four issues critical to ensuring an educational and personal experience conducive to students staying enrolled and completing their degrees: (1) college/life preparedness, i.e., expectation setting; (2) basic needs, i.e., food and housing; (3) sense of belonging, i.e., engaging in campus life; and (4) mental health and well-being, i.e., access to mental-health services.

The study incorporated stakeholder input, subject matter expert engagement, identification of best practices, and a review of mainstream and academic literature to identify issues and formulate recommendations. The report and corresponding study support implementation of Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education and its goal to close completion gaps by strengthening student support services.

jaylin and another student talking in the hallway“These four interconnected and critical student issues warrant additional resources and innovative as well as collaborative solutions,” said SCHEV Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Jaylin Drewry, a senior at Norfolk State University.

With these issues as a baseline, the report details the challenges faced by institutions of higher education when addressing the issues, and offers recommendations for the institutions and the state that could improve students' curricular and extracurricular experiences, as well as their overall success in college.

At the state/system level, the report,s cross-cutting recommendations provide necessary structure for ongoing implementation, collaboration and innovation across the four student-issue areas via a statewide consortium of student affairs vice presidents.

At the institution level, issue-specific recommendations include actions such as expanding eligible student usage of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits and providing additional mental health resources to students, faculty and staff.

“Findings in the report serve as a call to action for the Commonwealth and the institutions to build on the tremendous work currently being done to support students,” said SCHEV Council Chair Ken Ampy.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state's coordinating agency for higher education. With Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best state for education by 2030. For more on this statewide strategic plan, visit Schev - The Virginia Plan.