Spring 2024 Global Student Succsess Program orientation. Photo: GSSP via Instagram.

Finding Success with the Global Student Success Program at Queens College

5 mins read

The Global Student Success Program at Queens College is a program especially made for international students, consisting of two to three semesters worth of studies. The classes within the program are designed for its applicants, and once students finish with the GSSP year, they move on to taking courses and classes like every other general admission student. However, what makes it stand out?

“[The program] makes it really easy to adjust to your first year and makes you familiar with what college is supposed to be like in America,” said Naima Hasan, a Freshman Biological Sciences major from Nigeria. “That gave me a lot of confidence for the upcoming future and for the rest of my college career. Since it’s a program for international students, it’s comforting to know that you’re surrounded by and share a safe space with people who are probably going through the same thing as you in terms of being far from home.” Hasan is in her second semester at QC through the GSSP.

The application process for a general admission student and a GSSP student — in terms of support received in applying, visa processes, connection to advising and course registration, pre-arrival procedures and orientation — are all the same. The difference lies within the holistic three-semester (one year) academic curriculum, academic and personal advising, events, leadership, and community that the GSSP has. 

Emma Berryman-Moore, the GSSP Student Success Manager, said:

“Students in the GSSP program takes courses in a variety of subjects, focusing on their general education (Pathways) courses and some major requirements. Frequent personalized advising, fun events, student leadership programs, and workshops on a variety of subjects are also available for students. In addition, all GSSP students take a series of non-credit support courses at no extra charge, which cover a range of topics from how to calculate your GPA to making friends to study skills to exploring Queens.”

All classes are smaller in size so that the courses are comprehensible and the instructor can provide ample amount of support and guidance. This allows instructors and students more opportunities to interact and for instructors to pay close attention to the students and their needs.

Smaller classes also allow for the international student to frequently interact. Sojung Kim, a Freshman Computer Science major from South Korea, in her second semester at QC through the GSSP said, “It is true that you have less opportunity to meet with various other people, because during the GSSP program you will meet familiar faces every semester. However it is easier to make friends in the GSSP community and adjust to new college life. I am sure that the people you meet at GSSP would be a big support both during and after the program.”

Highlighting some of the other benefits of the program, Hasan said, “It’s been enlightening to meet people from around the world. The GSSP staff are also incredibly helpful and welcoming. In my experience, they have been very conscientious of the students’ needs and are always available. They have a personal touch to them that makes it easy for students to communicate with them. There’s usually always an event happening in the office, and if not, it’s just a good place to socialize with other international students there.”

The program offers walk-in advising hours from Monday through Thursday, and appointments can be made through Zoom on Fridays. The office, located in King Hall across from the International Students and Scholars Office, is usually open during peak hours for students to drop by.

The GSSP, though still fairly new, has plans for the upcoming future. Berryman-Moore said, “We are really excited to be opening a graduate program in Fall 2024! Two programs are part of this initial rollout: Computer Science and Risk Management.”

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