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Update on student programs and wellbeing resources

Chicago Center community,

Earlier this year, the Chicago Center explored additional options to meet an increase in demand for student counseling. In March, we expanded our mental health counseling services to students through a partnership with MySSP. MySSP connects students to credentialed, Masters-level counselors to help them successfully address their mental health challenges. Students can access scheduled counseling sessions, 24/7 on-demand services after downloading the MySSP and registering with their school email address.

This fall, we’ve launched and expanded many initiatives that support student wellbeing and success. As a key part of Reigniting Our Strategic Directions and assessing student mental health and wellbeing through a holistic lens, we launched the organization's first Mental Health Task Force. This group is composed of individuals from across the Chicago Center’s staff and board and is actively working to understand and identify ways we can enhance support for students. I look forward to sharing more updates on this before the end of the fall semester.

We expanded Our Student Care Model to include a new LEAD Program focused on personal and professional development for our students during our summer 2022 term. The Student Care Model includes (1) a weekly program seminar with other students in the cohort and instructor; (2) weekly community meetings with the student’s floormates and a Student Life staff member, and (3) the new Learn Explore Apply Do (LEAD) Program focused on 1:1 mentoring and professional development.

Over the course of the term, students participate in seven to eight LEAD sessions that provide mentoring by Chicago Center staff members and professional learning focused on leadership development, financial literacy, and career guidance through resume and LinkedIn support. Students complete the Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment, which will help students learn more about who they are and how they work with others.

In the summer pilot, 86% of students indicated the StrengthsFinder assessment tool enhanced their knowledge of how their strengths influence them as individuals and leaders, and 100% of students had an updated resume and complete LinkedIn profile as a result of participating in the LEAD Program. Learn more about the Chicago Center LEAD Program.

I’m grateful to Deputy Director Cameron Dreher-Siefkes, SU’09, who leads our Student Life team and our instructional staff, who, together, continue to look for ways to create a more integrated student experience.

Tyler L. Hough, MS (he/him)

Executive Director

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