The Soma Cares Initiative: A Model for Student Support & Success
The Soma Institute in Chicago is committed to the personal and professional growth of its students. The renowned education center is continually promoting innovative ways to support students in their journey towards becoming professional massage therapists. In this effort, Soma has created a culture of care with the Soma Cares workshop—an initiative aimed at increasing graduation rates and retention through teacher/student support.
The proactive program gives Soma’s teachers and staff the tools they need to support students and promote student success before a student’s issues rise to the crisis level. The interactive training teaches participants how to actively listen to their students, and how best to recognize various types of distress Soma students may experience.
“As educators, we recognize that academic consistency is, in part, a gift of privilege and not purely a matter of personal effort or will. The Soma Cares initiative seeks to address the outside-the-classroom issues that so many of our students face by developing faculty and staff responses to our students’ needs,” says Joan Hannant, president and founder of The Soma Institute.
As a model for student support and success, Soma Cares aims to promote the following core values among its faculty and teaching staff:
- Compassionate: feeling and demonstrating care and concern for our students;
- Affirming: providing emotional support and encouragement to students;
- Respectful: demonstrating a sense of value for students’ perspectives, opinions, qualities, abilities and achievements;
- Engaging: actively reaching out to students to secure their interest and involvement while focusing on retention and graduation.
This support provides students the encouragement and emotional help they need to feel listened to, cared about, and reminded that they are not alone in this journey. Graduates of the training are given a pin with the Soma Cares logo to remind students that they exist in an environment that promotes student success.
“Soma is committed to a student-centered approach to help students graduate and enter the massage therapy profession,” emphasizes Hannant.
Call Soma at 1.800.694.5314 to learn more.