Benefits of Participating

As an idea, the SisterHOOD Initiative was designed based on a comprehensive review of the literature on student success, academic achievement, community building, and with a deep understanding of the needs of women of color on college campuses. Designing the SisterHOOD Initiative was not an easy task, and we made every effort to keep retention and degree completion goals, front and center, while thinking about the well-being of women of color on our campus. From the literature and our work at EMU we know that students who participate in Living-Learning and Theme Communities:

  • Make new friends with similar interests
  • Have higher GPAs
  • Interact with faculty and staff members outside of the classroom
  • Feel more connected to the campus
  • Are more likely to return to campus for a second year
  • Have built a stronger community of peers in the community
  • Are equipped to navigate college and have a good understanding of resources on campus

As we moved through this process, we cultivated a much larger appreciation for strategic planning grounded in cross-functional collaboration. We understood that to drive sustainable change, we needed to engage several individuals, groups, and units across campus to address systemic issues that impact students of color. Today, we are confident each individual and unit involved has a vested interest in student success at EMU. Below, we highlight some of partnerships that have been established to support the SisterHOOD Initiative.

  • Participation in a mandatory four-day, pre-orientation sponsored by Holman Success Center
  • Creation of a Living Learning Community managed by Residential Life with a designated campus programmer working with the community
  • Enrollment in a Freshman Seminar Course (UNIV 101L) directed by the Holman Success Center
  • Enrollment in an ethnic/race studies course through the Dept. of African American Studies
  • Designation of a dedicated campus academic advisor (University Advising Career Development Center) who meets frequently with program students and program staff
  • Appointment Academic Success Coaches organized by the Holman Success Center
  • Participation in alternative spring break trip organized by the Vision and Volunteer Center
  • Participation in a Women of Color Conference sponsored at EMU
  • Leadership from faculty invested in the success of the program

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