Bellevue College Launches ‘Kudos for Students’ Program

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog

To ring in the new year, Bellevue College’s Student Success and Retention Office is debuting a new program: Kudos for Students. The program enables faculty and staff to fill out a form with a message of affirmation for a student. The message is then sent to the student via BC email.

This new program was developed by BC’s Integrated Student Supports (ISS) workgroup, a subset of the Guided Pathways and Achieving the Dream frameworks. Melissa Martinez, who oversees the workgroup and serves as the Associate Director of the Student Success and Retention Office, elaborates on the program: “The goal of the program is really focused on celebrating the big and small wins for students,” she explains.

“We have a lot of initiatives in place where we reach out to students when they might be struggling academically,” Martinez continues. “…but we really want to make sure that we focus on also celebrating and acknowledging students and how hard they’re working.”

The kudos form, accessible via the Student Success and Retention Office’s homepage, is short and simple. Staff or instructors input their name and the BC email or ID of the student to whom they wish to give kudos, then write a personal ‘kudo’ message to the student. The message is then logged in the student’s file and emailed directly to the student.

As simple as the form is, the program has been in the works for a long time.

“For a long time, you know, [the ISS workgroup] had conversations about wanting to make sure we not only did Early Alerts, but we also did kudos to celebrate students,” Martinez explains. “In terms of, just, what seemed to be the highest priority… other things took precedence.”

“[Kudos] was always part of the conversation, but it wasn’t at the top.”

Martinez went on to explain that, once the other programs were up and running, the ISS workgroup decided to revisit kudos. However while kudos has been implemented, Martinez and the ISS workgroup are far from finished with it.

“We welcome feedback,” Martinez says. “After sending out the email to faculty and staff earlier this week, I got a lot of positive, you know, feedback, and I got some suggestions from folks about making sure that some of the wording was different. …We were able to have those things modified, like, right away.” Martinez went on to explain that the program is currently an iterative process. It will continue to be revised and built upon, and Martinez and the ISS workgroup are “gonna be looking into following up with students at some point.”

“Please do submit the kudo,” Martinez finished. “It takes a couple of minutes. Everybody feels great when they’re acknowledged. …It’s a small thing we can do, but I think it can really uplift students.”