HFCC peer mentoring program wins Innovation of the Year

DEARBORN – Henry Ford Community College’s Inside Track peer mentoring program won the college’s Innovation of the Year Award for 2013.

Ammie Helling and Diva Williams, co-coordinators and founders of the program, received the award during an awards celebration April 12.

The National League for Innovation in the Community College — of which HFCC is a member — created the award. The award recognizes college faculty and staff members who have designed and implemented a significant innovation. HFCC President Gail Mee introduced the program to the college six years ago as a method of encouraging dynamic and innovative thinking among faculty and staff.

Inside Track is a peer mentoring program that offers first-year students the “inside track” on how to be successful in college through:
• Academic and personal support.

• Seminars and workshops designed to help students improve their study habits.

• One-on-one assistance with Registration, Financial Aid and Student Services.

• Support services and mentoring to help make the transition to college life easier.

There are a total of 138 students engaged in the program. This year, Inside Track began working in collaboration with several agencies, including the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Detroit, the MDC and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Inside Track is also the only Center of Working Families initiative nationwide with a similar structure that serves to change the understanding and behaviors of students as they relate to strengthening wealth.

Additionally, the program aids in improving retention rates. The program incorporates financial coaching as a mentoring and educational component, and works to help students understand that their education is one important key to improving their life prospects.

The 2015 goals for Inside Track are:
• 60 percent of students will use two out of three core services;

• 40 percent of students will use four out of three core services;

• 40 percent of students will improve their net income;

• 30 percent of students will improve their credit score;

• 33 percent of students will be placed in employment; and

• 25 percent of students will experiences a term-to-term increase in their retention rate.

“We are hopeful that the Inside Track program continues to grow and is viewed as an integral part of student success,” Helling said.

For more information about the Inside Track program, call 313-845-6347.