A New Resource for Students at the Student Success Center

Sarah Huston, Staff Reporter

The Student Success Center at Shawnee State University has always been a great tool for students and their success. This center has been offering make-up testing, tutoring, supplemental instruction, advising, and is the place to get questions answered. As of Oct. 5, a new resource known as a Student Success Coach has become available for SSU students. In an interview with Glenna Heckler-Todt, Director of Advising & Academic Resources, she explained that these coaches were hired using the CARES Funds the university received and the program will be active until the end of the academic year in May. There are currently five coaches Jim Weaver, Laura Costa dos Santos, Cassandra Bolyard, Jane Duncan, and Lisa Silhavy.

The program was created to help students who may be struggling with the online coursework; however, they are a tool for all students to use. Director Heckler-Todt said, “Their primary purpose is to help students reach their goals.” The coaches partner with struggling students and help them better understand how to complete coursework. The coaches will help students develop study skills, make schedules to complete coursework, and they will check up on the students on a regular basis to help them stay on track.

The Student Success Coaches can also help students with technology related issues. “One of the main problems with online coursework is that there is no consistency” said Director Heckler-Todt. “Each faculty member has their Blackboard set up differently from each other which causes a lot of confusion when it comes to finding and submitting assignments.” The coaches are all able and ready to guide and assist students through their courses and help them keep up with their classes. The coaches will also be available virtually after the semester ends to offer support for the students before the new semester. This program is a valuable tool for students who may need someone to help guide them through their courses.

Director Heckler-Todt mentioned that there are several ways for students to get in contact with a Success Coach. “There was a list of students who were identified as high risk for taking online coursework and the Success Coaches reached out and we are working on a way for faculty to refer students to the coaches.” However, if a student wanted to refer themselves they can always come to the Student Success Center and ask for a coach or send an email to Director Heckler-Todt at [email protected].

Students will mainly be meeting with their assigned coach either over Zoom or phone calls to maintain social distancing during the pandemic. “You don’t have to be struggling to use a Success Coach, even if you just need someone to sit down and help you prioritize tasks, so you are not overwhelmed, that’s what they are here for.” The Student Success Center has always offered SSU students support. With the additional resource of a Student Success Coach, students are now more prepared than ever to succeed on their educational journey.