Supporting Academic Goals for Education (SAGE) is a Student Support Services federal grant funded TRiO program that began at Wilkes Community College in 1979. The purpose of this program is to provide academic support services to increase the college success rates of its participants. Participants must be first-generation college, low income, and/or students with disabilities. All participants must have a need for academic support.
The most popular SAGE services are tutoring and peer facilitated study groups. For 2015-2016 SAGE provided 1,595 hours of tutoring and group study to 94 students (unduplicated head count) at a cost of $16.01 per hour or $271.59 per student for a total of $25,529. SAGE also awarded scholarships to 40 eligible participants totaling $31,000.
The objectives listed below are set by the Department of Education. The results are tabulated and reported to the Department of Education annually. SAGE submitted its 2015-2016 Annual Performance Report on November 29, 2016 with the following data.
Number Funded to Serve: In 2015-2016 SAGE was funded to serve 200 participants, with the following Department of Education requirements. Of all participants served 66% must be first generation and low income, and 33% of participants with disabilities must also be low income.
Number Served: 218 participants served or 109% of the objective was met. First generation and low income students = 163/218 or 75%; and disabled and low income students = 12/15 or 80%.
- Objective #1- Persistence Rate: 68% of all participants served by the project will persist from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016, or graduate and/or transfer from a 2-year to a 4-year institution during the 2015-16 academic year.RESULTS: 81% persisted – 176/218 participants persisted as defined above.
- Objective #2- Good Academic Standing Rate: 85% of all participants served by the project will meet the performance level required to stay in good academic standing at the grantee institution. (WCC defines good academic standing as a cumulative GPA of 2.0)
RESULTS: 92% were in Good Academic Standing – 167/182 participants were in good academic standing with an average cumulative GPA of all 218 participants equaling 3.02.
- Objective #3- Graduation Rate: 38% of the students who joined SAGE in 2011-12 will graduate with a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree within four years, or by the end of 2014-15.
RESULTS: 72.53% graduated within four years– 66/91 students from the 2011-12 cohort graduated by the end of 2014-15 with associate degrees or diplomas.
- Objective #4- Graduation and Transfer Rate: 11% of the students who joined SAGE in 2011-12 will graduate and transfer to a 4-year institution by the end of 2014-15.
RESULTS: 25.27% graduated and transferred within four years – or 23/91 students from the 2011-12 cohort graduated and transferred by the end of 2014-15.
SAGE is one of the federal TRiO programs funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education, whose purpose is to increase the retention, graduation, and transfer rates of its members. We are funded to offer free academic support services to 200 eligible members. The SAGE staff is committed to advising, guiding, and providing necessary information and resources to assist SAGE members in achieving their academic, career and personal goals. An eligible member is a full-time WCC student who has a need for academic support and who:
1) Is a first generation college student (meaning neither parent has a 4-year degree),
2) Qualifies as income-eligible
3) Has a documented disability.
The Department of Education established the criteria for membership in SAGE to encourage and assist students who are traditionally under-represented in post-secondary education.
Print the application here.
After enrolling in SAGE, a student is expected to meet with a SAGE peer mentor for the following assessment meetings: SAGE Moodle class, financial aid/program check sheet, instructor expectations/classroom behavior, and academic goals/steps to achieving goals. Attending these meetings is a great way to make sure the student is succeeding and has the information and resources necessary to succeed. Maintaining the status as an active member is necessary to continue receiving services the next academic year and to be eligible for the SAGE Grant Aid scholarship (other eligibility requirements apply). An active member is defined as a full time student making academic progress and participating in at least three SAGE services or activities per semester.
The SAGE Grant Aid Scholarship is awarded in the fall and spring semesters. To be eligible to receive the scholarship, a SAGE member must have participated in three services or activities per semester and attend at least one peer mentor workshop or office hour each semester. The SAGE member must also be receiving the Pell Grant, have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, making academic progress and have completed the modules in the SAGE Financial Literacy Moodle class. The SAGE staff meets as a committee and ranks members based on a rubric, which is printed on the scholarship application. Scholarship awards are typically made at the same time as the final financial-aid disbursement.
- plan semester course loads & select appropriate classes.
Access to Technology – SAGE maintains laptops, iPads, LiveScribe pens, and graphing calculators for participants to access during the semester.
Access to Textbooks – SAGE maintains a small library of general education textbooks for participants and tutors to access during each academic semester.
Bridges Alumni Board – network with SAGE alums at 4-year colleges or in the workforce
Campus Visits to 4-year Colleges – learn to navigate the university system & connect with key department personnel & other TRiO programs
Career Exploration – for decisions about college major and career
College Transfer Advising and Advocacy – individual assistance with college selection, completing college applications, financial aid & gathering information on housing
Computer Lab – computers equipped with a variety of software & staffed by lab assistants
Financial Aid Advising – assistance with the FAFSA & finding scholarships
Financial and Economic Literacy –information for personal budgeting, money management, handling credit, dealing with debt, preventing identity theft, financial aid & finding scholarships
Grant Aid Scholarships – awarded in fall & spring
Learning Styles Inventory – information about learning styles & motivations
Monthly Newsletter – via email, news about upcoming events & important dates
Peer mentors – share academic success skills & help you connect with campus & community resources
Personal Counseling – safe & confidential
Progress Reports – mid-semester information about grades & class performance
Study Groups – effective, supportive networks to increase study skills & learning
Success Skills – Improve test-taking, note-taking, reading comprehension & time management
Tutoring – supplements classroom instruction & helps master concepts