The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Friend-to-Friend success for CCE SGA


In the spring of 2013, the word rang throughout Hendricks Hall, where the Center for Continuing Education’s Student Government Association took the unprecedented step of removing their elected president from office.

“The president’s leadership did not resonate with the community she was elected to lead, and it was best for the organization that she was removed,” said senior Victor Lopez, who assumed the presidency temporarily after the former president’s removal.

Since this change, senior Sarah Dreier-Kasik has been elected by her peers to fill the position of CCE SGA president.

“I am proud of the current CCE SGA, as we have worked hard to overcome several upheavals,” said Dreier-Kasik. “Most of our current board are also proud members of the CCE Friend-to-Friend program, including myself.”

The new CCE SGA members have increased their partnership with the successful Friend-to-Friend peer mentoring program. The program pairs incoming adult students with currently enrolled CCE adults.

“The support of someone who understands the struggles of going to college as an adult is invaluable,” said CCE Student Success Counselor Nicole Arnold, Friend-to-Friend’s leader. “Friend-to-Friend is unique in that it is faculty-guided, student-driven and CCE-centric. Our group is tailored to support student success and retention of the adult student.”

In the four years since its launch, Friend-to-Friend has won numerous awards and been nationally recognized as a unique approach towards the success of adult students. Friend-to-Friend’s support is not limited to Hendricks Hall; its positive message reaches across campus.

“Each graduation, Friend-to-Friend mentors stand and applaud for every graduate,” said Arnold. “We want everyone to know that we support them and acknowledge their years of work to attain a degree.”

Several of the CCE SGA’s members are Friend-to-Friend success stories. Their leadership reflects the values and positive goals instilled in them through the program.

“Adult student issues vary from those of traditional students,” said junior Monica Yvette Jones, a CCE SGA member and Friend-to-Friend mentor. “As CCE-SGA moves forward, it is our aim to further the concept of support to our student body.”

From mentorship on acquiring financial aid, to navigating campus or writing an effective paper, Friend-to-Friend helps adult students who can be overwhelmed by their return to school.

This support can be especially important for certain demographics of the CCE population.

“We’ve discussed areas of support, namely for veterans and single mothers,” said senior Jessica Hilliard, CCE SGA board member. “Our mission is to enable all students. Having support groups for students with unique needs in the style of Friend-to-Friend’s may be another step towards that goal.”

CCE SGA’s reach can be limited by its lack of a social budget.

“CCE students don’t pay for social activity fees like traditional students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow. “However, Guilford has considered CCE expansion of student groups.”

The success of Friend-to-Friend serves as a template for the support of CCE students.

“I can’t see a reason why we wouldn’t encourage support groups within the CCE student body,” said Fetrow. “If the impetus is there from the students, it would be unreasonable for us not to assist in forming these groups.”

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