Moultrie Observer

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February 20, 2012

VSU offers support group for first generation college students

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Counseling Center will offer a First Generation College Students Support Group during the spring semester.

Students between the ages of 18 and 24 who are the first in their family to attend college are urged to stop by the center, located on the second floor of Powell Hall East, and sign up in advance. Sheila Wakeley, counselor, said the group will meet for about eight weekly sessions beginning in February on a day and at a time that is convenient for the majority of its members.

“First generation college students often feel lost, overwhelmed, lonely, or invisible when faced with matriculating at college or university,” said Wakeley, who holds a master’s degree in social work. “They may feel a lack of support from family back home in terms of understanding or relating to aspects of the college experience because family members have not had firsthand knowledge. There may be a sense of pressure to be a role model for success for their siblings or extended family.”

As the group facilitators, Wakeley and Gwendolyn Williams, counselor, will present information on helpful academic strategies the students can use to achieve success and general information about VSU. They will also promote problem-solving and coping skills among the group members.

The VSU Counseling Center is dedicated to providing “a broad range of services to meet the personal, social, and educational needs of our students,     faculty, and staff.” These services include individual and group counseling, outreach programs, testing, training, consultation, crisis intervention, and more. Center staff members strive to help each individual “reach his or her optimal potential and receive the maximum benefits from the university experience.”

For more information, please call the VSU Counseling Center at (229) 333-5940 or visit www.valdosta.edu/counseling.

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