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Home > About > In the News > SOS program assists students through rough waters

SOS program assists students through rough waters
by Thomas Duarte

Kapio (Newspaper of Kapiolani Community College)
Issue Date 02/20/2008 Section News
- Kapio Link

The SOS program is not a program about the international distress signal, but a collection of workshops. The Secrets of Success or SOS workshops are conducted throughout the semester and are designed to assist students while they are at KCC. According to SOS coordinator Guy Inaba the workshops give students a chance to enhance their college skills beyond the classroom.

“The program is mainly for students who need to brush up on their college skills,” Inaba said. “But I strongly believe that everyone can use additional skills to make college easier for them.”

Students who attend the SOS workshops put themselves in a position to receive information they may not get only attending classes. These workshops can give students the edge they need to improve their grades and get through college.

“Anyone could use the kinds of information given in the SOS workshops, teachers included,” said English for Speakers of Other Languages program lecturer Shawn Ford. “Most of these skills and strategies aren’t explicitly taught by teachers in general education classes because these teachers just assume that students are coming into their classes with these abilities. So the SOS workshops are really the only place where a student can get this kind of information.”

The workshops range in subjects specifically to help all college students. Some of the workshops cover subjects such as time management, textbook reading strategies, and communication skills among many others. The presenters for the workshops are KCC faculty and staff members who have an expertise and are able to help students improve their skills in specific areas.

The workshops change slightly semester to semester, including the types of workshops offered, as well as the presenters. This semester Ford is starting a new workshop called Introduction to a Foreign Language. The workshop is designed to help students who fear taking second language courses.

According to Ford, Paul Clur the assistant coordinator for the Office of Student Activities, approached him and said many students face anxiety when taking foreign language courses.
“Paul knew that I was a Second Language Studies graduate, and he thought I could help these students by offering some sort of workshop about strategies for taking foreign language classes,” Ford said. “I thought the best approach would be to create an SOS workshop, so I spoke with Guy Inaba, and we developed the workshop.”

Ford feels that his workshop will help students be more successful in foreign language courses because after the workshop they will be more comfortable taking the courses.
According to Inaba there are also several workshops on DVD coming up the next few months. The program is also growing; future plans include a redesign of the SOS Web site and a move toward information on demand. Inaba also said that during the summer workshops will be offered and new workshops are being prepared for Fall 2008.

For more information and a complete list of workshops and presenters visit the SOS Web site at http://library.kcc.hawaii.edu/SOS/. To contact the SOS Coordinator Guy Inaba e-mail him at inaba@hawaii.edu or call him at 734-9206.
Editors note: Interviews for this article were conducted through e-mail.


Upcoming SOS Workshops: (Current Workshops)

Time Management: Lama 116 (Library)
Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 12:15 — 1:15 p.m.

Microsoft Excel Basics: Iliahi 126 (Cybernesia)
Thursday, Feb.21 from 12:15 — 1:15 p.m.

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