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First4Weeks: Week 1 Tips to Build Relationships and Connect

Update | Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The First4Weeks initiative is designed to leverage and expand on the excellent student success work we already have underway by implementing proven, research-based strategies that can be used by students, faculty, and College staff.

The four categories of focus are:  
*Build Relationships and Connect
*Engage and Encourage
*Communicate, Celebrate, and Inspire
*Support and Collaborate

During the first four weeks of this semester, you’ll find helpful tips and links here to help students succeed in all four categories. This week’s tips can help Build Relationships and Connect.

Ideas for faculty
Our faculty members have already developed many ways of connecting with students, even in the online learning environment. One idea some have implemented is personalizing BlackBoard course materials, including adding video announcements, so that your personality comes through. Digital Education and Instructional Support (DEIS) can assist. Email:  

Ideas for staff
Making close connections is possible even in a virtual environment. A few tips include introducing yourself to the student you’re helping with your name and title. “Dig deeper” by asking a follow-up question to figure out what they need to accomplish. Make sure students know how to reach you after the conversation.

Visit for additional tips and strategies. Help students connect with one another, faculty, and the College at


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