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Success at Southwest is a program that helps provide holistic advising and support to first and second-year students of traditionally underserved populations (first-generation college students, students of color, and/or Pell Grant recipients) to navigate college life and academia. Being a part of Success at Southwest includes monthly coaching sessions where a student meets with their success coach to talk about all aspects of what it means to be a college student.

Success at Southwest is SMSU’s continuation of the three-year grant funded program called Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) implemented in 2021 following similar guidelines. Success at Southwest lends itself to SMSU’s dedication to Minnesota State’s Equity 2030 initiative to eliminate equity gaps in educational outcomes by race, generation, and socioeconomic status by the year 2030.

Supporting our first and second-year students at the beginning of their college journey, equipping them with the knowledge of campus resources, and providing them with monthly check-ins to discuss their personal, academic, and professional needs ensures they have started down the right path to achieving their goals and overall success at SMSU.

Impacts of SUCCESS

The impact of SUCCESS can be seen across all three cohorts from Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2023. On average, students in SUCCESS compared to new first-year students (not in SUCCESS) earned more credits and ended their semesters with higher GPAs and cumulative GPAs.

Cohort Data
Fall 2021 SUCCESS Students (86) All New First-Year Students (412)
Attempted Credits (on average) 15.17 15.15
Earned Credits (on average) 13.34 12.90
End of Semester GPA 3.01 2.88
Cumulative GPA 2.99 2.88
Spring 2022 SUCCESS Students (76) All New First-Year Students (27)
Attempted Credits (on average) 14.88 13.52
Earned Credits (on average) - -
End of Semester GPA 2.74 2.57
Cumulative GPA 2.89 2.57

Fall 2023 SUCCESS Students (84)
All New First-Year Students (326)
Attempted Credits (on average) 15.10 15.32
Earned Credits (on average) 13.32 13.09
End of Semester GPA 3.15 2.99
Cumulative GPA 3.14 2.99


Who qualifies for Success @ Southwest? 

New students at SMSU (in-person or hybrid) who have fewer than 60 earned credits and meets one or more of the following criteria: 

  • First-Generation College Student
  • Student of Color
  • Pell Grant Eligible (confirmed with FAFSA completion)

Why join Success @ Southwest? 

SMSU prides itself on ensuring each student feels welcome and supported to be successful. Benefits to participate in our program are the following: 

  • You'll have a dedicated coach to help you transition into SMSU
  • You'll receive tips, guidance, and reminders on how to persist and succeed in a university setting
  • You'll have access to additional mentoring opportunities with peers and SMSU Alumni
  • You'll receive perks for attending your monthly coaching meeting(s) e.g. priority registration, monthly drawings, and end of the year celebrations

We are currently recruiting for our Fall 2024 cohort. Fill out the form below to confirm your spot and to receive additional information regarding next steps: 

program sign-up form

Contact us today!

Nicole Lewis
Success Coach 
(507) 537-6360

Mary Haberman
Success Coach 
(507) 537-6690

Emily Vos
Success Coach 
(507) 537-6478

To learn more about our success coaches, please visit our Meet the Team page. 

Last Modified: 7/3/24 3:02 PM | Website Feedback