Students in Transition to Success (SITTS)

Today we’re featuring a program specifically for students in academic jeopardy – Students in Transition to Success, or SITTS.  Here to tell you about it is advisor Lyllye Parker in the Office of Multicultural Academic Success (OMAS).  

Who can participate in SITTS?

This program was originally developed to help students of color who are in academic jeopardy.   We invite all students of color who are on academic warning, probation 1 and probation2 to participate.  However, it is my dream that the program assist all U of O students, and so I welcome ANY student interested in the SITTS program to call 541-346-3479 and make an appointment with one of our advisors.

How does the program work?

SITTS offers the students holistic advising.  It is also a program that provides accountability.  The students go through an intake process, and an assessment is made of the student’s needs.  Then an advisor sits down with the student to draw up a plan.  It is important to empower the student to think critically, and be in charge of his/her own education. 

The advisor’s responsibility is to guide, be a sounding board, recommend resources, and be a resource.  The student signs a SITTS Contract with the advisor, which terminates when the student is back on solid ground.  However, in my experience, most SITTS students continue to work with the advisor as needed.

Ms. Parker in her warm & welcoming office

What makes this program inspiring for you as an advisor?

There have been several success stories regarding SITTS students.  I will share a story that pre-dates the program, but was the inspiration to create it.

At the end of spring term freshman year this particular student was academically disqualified.  As a member of the Scholastic Review Committee I advocated for the student to get one last chance to prove that a 2.0 term was possible.  We signed a Contract agreeing to work together until the cumulative GPA was back to a 2.0. 

We met on a weekly basis.  Most of our meetings were used to discuss time management, homework, and campus climate.  However, the most valuable component of our meetings was the trusting relationship we were able to develop. The student had external issues that affected her ability to focus solely on academics, and as a result of the relationship we built, she shared these issues and I was able to recommend resources that provided the support system necessary to deal with those issues . 

It didn’t take long for this student to get on the right track, even though more than 20 hours of “B” was required to get back to a 2.0 cumulative GPA.  From the first term after we signed the Contract until the last term before graduation, the student received no less than a grade of A-in all of her classes.  When graduation day arrived, the cumulative GPA was above a 3.0, and an acceptance letter to graduate school was in the student’s hands.

Any final thoughts?

Once again let me state that any student interested in the SITTS Program should call 346-3479 and make an appointment with one of our advisors.

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Rebounding from a bad term


We love fellow advisor Sally Garner’s advising-themed podcast “Quick Question”. Sally is an advisor in the School of Journalism and Communication, so many of the podcasts relate specifically to journalism majors. However, sometimes she answers more general questions. One of our favorites is “I didn’t do well last term. How do I fix this?”

Take a few minutes to listen to the podcats, or follow Sally’s instructions at the bottom of the page to subscribe to the feed using itunes!

In Your Words

When we started this blog we had a couple of ideas about what we wanted to include on it. We both thought it was important to include students’ perspectives about what academics at the UO have been like for them. As academic advisors students tell their stories to us, but we wanted a way for them to share their stories with each other. Feel free to share your thoughts or personal reflections in the comments.

Our first post comes from J.K., who is close to completing her degree in English. We asked her a few questions by email and here are her candid responses, including some quotes that she wanted to share:

Can you summarize your academic journey at the UO?

J.K.: My academic journey at UO has been like riding the fastest rollercoaster on this planet. Long, ups and downs, twists and turns; but in the end I want to ride it all over again.


What have been some of your greatest academic challenges?

J.K.: My greatest academic challenge was trying to find a purpose. Without that purpose I made excuses for my lack of motivation because I felt like there was a void in my life, which hindered me from doing well. Since I did not do well, I fell into a deep state of depression and was questioning life, friends, values and a sense of meaning in life. I didn’t understand that a part of growing up and getting an education is a purpose in itself and the rest will come later.

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Václav Havel

What have been some of your greatest achievements?

J.K.: I haven’t earned any awards. I haven’t won any trophies. I haven’t deserved any recognition. But I have gained an immense amount of experience, relationships, and gratitude towards life and my education that I would never trade for any piece of paper.

“I am thankful for all the hardships because it means I can learn from the past to apply to the present for success in the future.” – Me

Knowing what you do now, if you could go back to your first term and give yourself advice, what would you say?

J.K.: If I could go back I definitely would have been involved with student programs and communities. The UO has many opportunities to be involved in, in any aspect of interest. And they are fun! It’s a good thing to support your peers. I wish I had gone to more productions offered by the student body, from music to drama to sports; I should have taken advantage of all aspects of “campus life.”

Most importantly, I would say to myself these next things: choose your friends wisely. Don’t make excuses. Recognize what greatness is. Work to achieve that. Then work five times harder and exceed ten times further.

What are your post-graduation plans?

J.K.: Travel. Experience life and different cultures. Most of all offer my time by helping people in other countries that are less fortunate than me. Graduate school is definitely in my future. Knowledge is power, no matter who you are or where you are—learning doesn’t end. It’s the way of the future.


“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” – John Locke

Anything else you would like to pass along to students who are concerned about their grades?

J.K.: Don’t obsess about grades! Appreciate your education and excel above and beyond your learning habits. Then good grades will follow naturally. Making excuses and being lazy will get you nowhere in life. No one will take you seriously if you can’t take yourself seriously. So strive for excellence, not just for yourself and your future, but for the change you can be for the world.

“Anything can happen if you are willing to put in the work and remain open to the possibility. Dreams are realized by effort, determination, passion and staying connected to that sense of who you are.” – Michael Jordan

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