Website:  Student Success
See also Undergraduate Orientation

The goal of Student Success programs is to retain students by providing opportunities and guidance for students to engage as contributing members of Gallaudet University and to learn the academic and social skills necessary to succeed in a diverse university community and a global society. The Student Success program promotes student success and retention by providing targeted students with intentional academic and social support services designed to help them achieve their goal of graduating from Gallaudet University. Student Success begins in the summer with our JumpStart program and continues into the Fall and Spring with the Academic Success program. Students receive tutoring and support to develop and improve their academic success strategies and/or bilingual language skills.

Student Success supports the university's learning outcomes and bilingual mission by increasing the retention of students through:

  • Identifying students in need of additional academic or social support
  • Providing initial instructional experiences to bolster requisite academic skills
  • Providing intense academic preparation for college aligned with the General Studies learning outcomes
  • Providing American Sign Language instruction, deaf culture awareness, and deaf history to emerging signers
  • Orienting families of new students to the requirements and expectations of undergraduate life;
  • Providing individual and peer mentoring to students during their first year of college.

JumpStart: American Sign Language

The JumpStart program is a four-week summer program for deaf and hard of hearing, and hearing students accepted into the BAI degree program.  The program is intentionally designed to help students develop a solid academic and social foundation before the fall semester begins.

JumpStart outcomes:
(Adapted from National Association for Developmental Education)

  • To develop in each learner the skills and attitudes necessary for the attainment of academic, career and life goals
  • To ensure proper placement by assessing each learner's level of preparedness for college coursework
  • To maintain academic standards by enabling learners to acquire competencies needed for success in a bilingual university

JumpStart: American Sign Language offers freshmen and transfer students a four-week immersion program in American Sign Language. The ASL program aims to teach new students basic signing skills prior to the start of the fall semester to ensure their transition into the bilingual learning environment of Gallaudet University. During the ASL program, new students attend concentrated instruction in sign classes that provide information about Gallaudet's history and traditions, Deaf awareness, Deaf culture, the history of the education of Deaf people, and related topics.

In addition to sign classes, students participate in recreational activities, it will be an adventure-based outdoor activities program that focuses on developing teamwork, decision-making, and conflict resolution skills.

Peer Mentorship

Student Success's Peer Mentorship program is designed to assist students in their social, personal, and academic acclimation to Gallaudet University. When students enter Gallaudet University as a first year student, he/she will be required to take GSR 101: First-Year Seminar (FYS) course. In this course, a Peer Mentor is assigned where he/she will provide academic support as well to navigate other aspects of campus life such as student services, and opportunities for social development and participation in student organizations. Ultimately, Peer Mentors encourage first-year students to discover their potential within themselves to succeed at Gallaudet University. 

All Peer Mentors are upper-class students who receive ongoing training on mentoring skills, interpersonal relationships, and are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Why Mentoring?

Mentoring can be defined as a helpful relationship between a younger and older individual. The purpose of having a mentoring relationship in college is to assist student with the challenges associated with the first year college experience. In addition to providing academic support during a student's first year of college, mentors also help first year students navigate other aspects of campus life such as student services and opportunities for social development and participation in student organizations. Ultimately, mentors encourage their mentees to discover their potential within themselves to succeed at Gallaudet University. All first year students are eligible to participate in the Peer Mentorship program.


  • Provides one-on-one peer mentorship by upperclass peer mentors.
  • Connect students to use university resources for academics and self-development skills.
  • Emerge in the signing community
  • Experience many learning and interactive trips around the Washington D.C. area.
  • STAY-CONNECTED with Gallaudet University. 

To get involved in this incredible program please contact us at for more information.