Supporting Student Success
Not long after we resumed on-campus operations after the pandemic, one of my advisees came to my student hours. Clearly exhausted, he shrugged off his backpack and sank into a chair. He was having trouble writing his thesis, he told me, and didn’t know what to do. As we began to talk about his writing routine and time management practices, he confided that in addition to finishing his course work and writing his thesis, he was working weekends at a local restaurant and picking up additional shifts when he could during the week. He was not eligible for financial aid because of his parents’ income, but he didn’t want to saddle them (or himself) with thousands of dollars of debt.
Many of the students I advise in the Clark Honors College work during the school year. Some take campus jobs, working in housing or catering, staffing the front desk in schools and colleges, creating the wonderful stories you read in the CHC Post, supporting campus services in Admissions, the EMU, the Rec Center, and so forth. Others work as research assistants for faculty or take positions in their labs. Some hold down the kinds of jobs I worked as an undergraduate—waiting tables, serving coffee, picking up shifts in retail.
It's hard for students to complete their coursework when they are juggling multiple responsibilities outside of the work they do in our classrooms. Some students work because they need to contribute to their family income. Others need financial support when a family member loses a job or gets sick. Some of our students are not sure how they’ll buy groceries in the days right before their paychecks come. And some students don’t qualify for federal financial aid, even though they struggle to pay for tuition and fees.
Students who receive generous UO scholarships like the Stamps Scholarship, Pathway Oregon,Diversity Excellence and others tell us what a relief it is to be able to pursue their academic work with decreased financial burden, and what an advantage it is to be able to focus on their studies. We hear repeatedly from students who receive CHC scholarships about the impact that donor generosity has had in helping them finish their theses and their degrees.
Here in the CHC, we are committed to making sure that all our students have the financial support they need to complete their degrees. In the weeks and months ahead, the CHC will be reaching out to our alumni community as part of a broader University of Oregon effort to expand student support. We hope you will join us in these efforts.
P.S. As mentioned in last month's message, we invite you to tell us how your CHC thesis project contributed to the job you have today, or your career. Send us your story via this short Qualtrics form. We look forward to reading it!