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Please remember that the staff is always available to assist you with your total needs (academic and non-academic). Please make it a habit to stop by the office (Howard Phillips Hall) at least once a week. Think of it as your home away from home. It’s a place to network and recharge. We have support services, study spaces and snacks available each day. We look forward to serving you.

Best wishes for a successful semester!

Dr. Rebekah McCloud, Director, SDES TRiO Center

Project BEST Scholars,

Welcome to Fall 2016! I hope you had a productive summer and are ready for the rigors that fall will bring. The Project BEST staff has planned an exciting year for you all. You’ll be contacted about our four new learning communities, our Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) Career Readiness project (for first generation students), our PsychKnights Ready to Work project (for psychology majors), campus visits, peer tutoring and our mentoring programs: faculty/staff mentoring and peer mentoring. We also have a new Academic Coach who will be contacting each of you. I’m excited about the opportunities for you this coming year!

NOTE: The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

 Project BEST

Building Exemplary Scholars for Tomorrow

Student Development and Enrollment Services

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm

Walk-In Wednesday: 8am-5pm




Howard Phillips Hall 208


Vol.1, Num. 1

FALL 2016

SDES | Howard Phillips Hall 208 | Orlando, FL 32816-1920 | 407-823-4165 | |

From day one to graduation day, you can count on us for assistance, guidance and advocacy. Our professional and caring staff understand your desire to earn a college degree. We're helped countless students finish their studies here and can help you.

Achieving a college degree is a major accomplishment for anyone. If you've got the drive and determination to get that degree, you'll find a friendly education partner in the Project BEST program. As you progress through your studies, we'll be by your side, helping you develop the skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond. And all this assistance is free if you qualify.

With a highly trained staff and a comprehensive program backed by federal funding, we can help you:

  • Adjust to college life
  • Master the challenges your studies will present
  • Successfully complete your degree, and
  • Move on confidently into a brighter future

Project BEST Staff

Katia Khatskevich

Peer Tutor

I live in Cape Coral, FL but am originally from Minsk, Belarus. A fun fact about me is that I love plants! I currently have 15 different plants in
my dorm room.

Giselle Duran

Graphic Designer

I'm from Tampa, FL but was born & raised in Passaic, NJ. A fun fact about me is that my family and I vacationed to all the Disney Parks (and more!) every year before moving to FL. 

Rita Simpson

Assistant Director

I am a native Floridian who enjoys spending time with my family. A fun fact about me is that I have been with UCF for over 10 years!

Barbara Vehabovic

Peer Mentor

I was born in Germany but moved to Jacksonville, FL when I was 5. I love to travel & explore the world as I am in search of new adventrues. 

Kristen- Elizabeth Guske
Academic Coach

I'm from Fort Lauderdale, FL but have been living in Athens, Greece for the past 5 years. A fun fact about me is that I am certified to teach ballet classes. 

Lauren Murray-Lemon


I'm originally from Philadelphia, PA but moved to Orlando, FL in 2006. A fun fact about me is that I grew up in a turtle hospital!

Johnathan Fabrizio

Peer Tutor

I was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, FL until I moved to UCF in the summer of 2014. A fun fact about myself is that I am a big Star Wars and video game buff.

Student Development and Enrollment Services

Individual Academic Plan

You may be wondering what an IAP (Individual Academic Plan), well we can answer that for you! An IAP is a goal-setting activity that you complete to help you achieve your goals at UCF and beyond. Any goal whether academic or lifestyle; we want to help you reach them. Why write down your goals? Research shows that writing down goals makes you much more likely to achieve them…..and that’s our goal!


  • Scholars must meet with a coordinator and/or academic coach at least once a semester. You can do so by scheduling an appointment for M-F, 8am-4pm (not during lunch) via email, phone or Skype.
  • Scholars can also come in during Walk-in Wednesdays where visits are available from 8am-5pm (on a first come first served basis)

SDES | Howard Phillips Hall 208 | Orlando, FL 32816-1920 | 407-823-4165 | |

Requirement Reminders

The goal of the TRiO Student Support Services Program (SSS) is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. To remain active in the program, you must fulfill the following requirements:


  • Meet with one of the SSS Advisors at least once each fall and spring (Howard Phillips Hall 208). 
  • Complete an Individualized Academic Plan (IAP) during my first semester in SSS and review the IAP once per year to track prograss and make changes as necessary.
  • Participate in a minimum of 2 SSS activities each fall and spring. (peer tutoring, meeting with an academic coach or peer mentor, workshops, and social or cultural events)

  • Complete a minimum of 3 Canvas modules per year; completing at least one in the following areas: Financial Literacy, Financial Aid, and Academic Wellness.
  • Attend class regularly as set forth by the institution.
  • Agree to make a concerted effort to achieve and sustain satisfactory progress in all UCF coursework (minimum 3.0 or higher GPA). If you GPA falls below a 3.0 or if you are not doing well in a class, you must meet with an SSS staff member to arrange for extra academic supports to help be successful including tutoring and supplemental instruction.

If you are missing one of these requirements, please get in contact with the office ASAP so we can help you get back on track!

Student Development and Enrollment Services

Academic Deadlines

Drop/Swap Deadline on myUCF

Add Deadline on myUCF

Tuition Payment Deadline

Labor Day

Housing Payment Deadline       

Academic Advising Week         

Grade Forgiveness Deadline

Withdrawal Deadline

Veteran's Day


Study Day

Final Exams

SDES | Howard Phillips Hall 208 | Orlando, FL 32816-1920 | 407-823-4165 | |

Student Spotlights

Asia received a $2,500 scholarship from the “Asbury Automotive Group” for the Fall 2016 semester.  The scholarship is a need based scholarship awarded to fulltime students attending an institution of their choice.  An annual scholarship fund of $100,000 is offered each year for full-time study. 36 individual scholarships for $2,500 and 2 super scholarships for $5,000 are awarded to employees’ children to help them achieve their aspirations and academic goals.

Asia Rue

August 25, 11:59PM

August 25, 11:59PM

September 2

September 5

September 9

October 10 - October 21

October 31, 11:59PM

October 31, 11:59PM

November 11

November 24-November 26

December 5

December 6 - December 12

Qunesha receieved a $6,000 stipend through the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program; a collaboration between UCF, Florida Schools of Social Work, Florida Department of Children & Families, and Community-Based Agencies of Florida. The program is to create and support a professional workforce in child welfare for Florida. A $6,000 stipend is awarded per year for up to 2 years through a 20-30 hour per week work program.

Qunesha West

Student Development and Enrollment Services

Fall 2016 Workshops & Programs


Welcome Back Reception

Academic Skills Workshop

Learning Community Launch Party

Research Writing Workshop

"Family Movie Knight" Potluck Style

Dress For Success

Academic Skills Workshop

Group Study Sessions

*Click on links to RSVP and view UCF Map

Project BEST Certificate Programs

Career Readiness

Graduate School Preparation


Social Networking Strategies

Written Job Search Communications

Job Search Strategies

Preparing for Your 1st Position

Salary Negotiation

Financial Literacy


Budgeting & Tracking Your Money

Good Nutrtion on a Student Budget

Investing Basic: Steps You Can Take Now

(Partnership with FAIRWINDS)

Couponing & Fun Free Stuff

Planning for Retirement with FAIRWINDS

Student Loan Repayment Strategies

SDES | Howard Phillips Hall 208 | Orlando, FL 32816-1920 | 407-823-4165 | |


Research Writing

Graduate & Professional Schools Fair

Applying to Graduate or Professional School

Spring CSEL Expo

Writing a Personal Statement

Graduate Schools Visits


August 31

September 1

September 7

October 4

October 12

October 13

October 24

Sept 14/Oct 19/Nov 23


Sept. 8 OR Oct. 13; 3PM-3PM; CSEL 121

Mar. 22; 11:30AM-12:30PM; SU221





Oct. 4; 11AM-12PM; SU220

Oct. 12; 10AM-2PM; Peg. Ballroom

Oct. 20; 3PM OR Nov. 3 1PM; CSEL 115





Sept. 19; 11AM-12PM; SU224

Oct. 11; 2PM-3PM; SU221

Oct. 13; 1:30PM-2:30PM; SU223


Feb. 13; 2PM-3PM; CSEL 121

April 4; 3PM-4PM; CSEL 121
































Student Development and Enrollment Services