To complement the resources already available and help students thrive throughout their four years and graduate on time, Meredith College is rolling out a new Success Coach program in fall 2022.
The program gives students a go-to person for any issue they may face during their time at Meredith. Success coaches proactively support each student, staying in touch with frequent communication and regular engagement to keep students informed and successful while attending college.
The initiative is designed to help students stay in college and graduate on time, allowing them to avoid additional tuition costs and higher student debt. Coaches assist students with various challenges related to their college journey, including identifying goals, managing commitments, creating effective habits, applying their strengths, and thinking holistically about their plan for college and beyond.
Although students may naturally ask their Coaches academically-related questions, coaching is intentionally separate from a student’s academic interests. This means that while a faculty advisor could change when a student changes a major, the Success Coach remains with the student, helping to ensure students have a consistent person supporting them throughout their time at Meredith. Success Coaches are also highly proactive, communicating and engaging a variety of services on campus to provide a “web of support” for students.
A Successful Pilot
The Success Coach program was piloted in fall 2021. Approximately 175 students were assigned to five part-time Success Coaches who were currently employed faculty or staff at Meredith. Coaches received in-depth training before participating in the program and followed a “touchpoint” plan designed to provide regular outreach and support to students, connecting via email, text messages, and Zoom technology. Because of COVID-19, in-person meetings did not occur but will be added as protocols are adjusted.
Associate Director of Student Success and Advising Victoria Munn, one of the Success Coaches during the pilot, appreciated the holistic nature of the program.
“Success Coaching supports the person as a whole and their unique situation. Each student’s journey is special and being along for the ride is truly a great joy,” said Munn. “I love seeing my students grow and it is crucial to celebrate each and every victory along the way – big or small.”
A post-pilot survey confirmed students who participated reported feeling more supported, stating that their Success Coaches answered their questions, provided information about resources, kept them on track academically, and generally helped ensure their college success.
The survey showed some of the topics discussed included dealing with stress and anxiety, time management, information about courses and registration, and locating resources on campus.
Munn is looking forward to rolling out the full program in fall 2022, having seen the impact of the pilot. She believes the effect of coaches personally investing in their students is powerful.
“I want students to know I am always their champion and will work tirelessly to help them achieve both personal and professional success,” she said.