Kennesaw State University is aware of the overwhelming pressure of transitioning to college education, especially for students with an unconventional background growing up. To help alleviate their stress, the university created the ASCEND program, providing various services to students who experienced awful encounters such as homelessness, went to a foster care system, or food insecurity.
As part of the said program, the school has a dedicated living area, located at the Marietta campus, for students under the ASCEND initiative. This home is one of the university’s living-learning villages on-campus, consisting of student groups sharing similar backgrounds and staying under one accommodation.
The property has a couple of beds for students and a resident advisor to look after the young ones. Members of this program are handed all the necessary information about financial assistance and other requirements for enrollment and workshops relevant to academic and professional development. Peer mentoring, group excursions, and personalized agendas help them cope with daily pressure. According to the university, housing expenses and events are all financially covered by generous donations from sponsors.
As one of the school directors mentioned, the university aims to foster a particular kind of community for these students; and the best way to do that is by giving a designated living area. The institution is committed to guiding these students until they graduate, preventing them from going back to become homeless. Through ASCEND, they will provide the proper intervention in their transition to adulthood.
Furthermore, the program wants to eliminate the trauma these students experienced when they were homeless and trying to survive independently. With this project’s living arrangement, students will feel they’re in a safe place and not worry about their daily necessities and realize they now have a community looking after them.
Read the full report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.