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Step Ahead with Schoolcraft Helps Area Students

April 19, 2021

Students using a computerThe COVID-19 pandemic has made the past year extremely challenging for high school students as online learning or virtual teaching replaced face-to-face instruction. Even with most schools recently returning to more familiar in-person classes, some students may feel they’ve fallen behind.

To help, Schoolcraft College’s Learning Support Services (LSS) team has piloted “Step Ahead with Schoolcraft College” for students at the Plymouth Canton Educational Park, which consists of Plymouth, Canton and Salem high schools. This series of workshops helps high school students develop the skills they need to be successful in high school, and to keep building on those skills once they enter college.

Jennie Rokakis, LSS Assistant for Mentorship Programs, said the workshops were developed as an extension of the workshops that Learning Support Services offers for Schoolcraft College students.

“As our Academic Success Coaches were meeting with students, they noticed that students needed additional support transitioning from high school to the college learning environment,” she said. “This was further exacerbated due to the pandemic, with students trying to manage their time remotely, or studying at home rather than on campus.

“As we partnered with local high schools, counselors identified similar areas that we could support with. Learning Support Services was then inspired to create these workshops to help high school students develop the skills they need to be successful not only in high school, but as they transition to college and the workplace.” 

The Learning Support Services department facilitates the workshops, which began in March, with the College’s Academic Success Coaches, support staff, and partnering faculty engaging students in a variety of subject areas.

“Each day of workshops offers four different topic areas: writing, general studies, science, and math,” Rokakis said. “These topics were selected after meeting with high school counselors to discuss where they saw the greatest needs for their students. Our workshop series also cover sub-topics to benefit a variety of student needs.

“For example, a student might feel confident in their time management skills, but struggle to understand the key terms in their science textbook. Our hope was to create a program that, no matter the grade level, students would be interested in joining the workshops.”

The early returns have been promising.

“Our first day of workshops was held on March 17 and we had 91 visits, with 55 individual students in attendance,” Rokakis said. “Since then, we have received interest in hosting these workshops with other area high schools. Our future workshops will be open to additional high schools as we continue to make new contacts and spread the word about the program. The goal is to be able to open these workshops to better serve our students and local communities.”

If you have questions, or are interested in joining this initiative, please contact Jennie Rokakis, LSS Assistant for Mentorship Programs at

For more information about Learning Support Services and the programs offered, visit the LSS website.