Welcome back Missouri State Bears! This week I wanted to take the chance to start a new series introducing our Success Coaches in the Center for Academic Success and Transition (CAST) office. Our success coaches are a helpful resource to students and this is a chance to meet those who all work in our office.
What is a Success Coach?
A success coach is a graduate student interested in helping undergraduate students succeed. Our success coaches can help with academic skills such as meeting deadlines, time management, goal setting and reaching, test preparation, and identifying strengths and weaknesses. You can use the form to meet with a success coach. This semester we are lucky to have fourteen coaches with a variety of backgrounds and available times to meet that work with you and your schedule.
The first success coach I want to introduce is Emily. Emily received her undergrad at Missouri State University and is continuing to work towards her master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. When I asked Emily if she had any tips for first-generation students her reply was “Be proactive rather than reactive. Advocate for yourself early and get ahead!”
I find Emily’s tip very timely at this point in the semester because for many students this is the time of year when change is occurring. Grades are coming out, schedules are being made, living arrangements are assigned, and more. In these situations, it is vital that organization and time management are used. Success coaches can help with managing all of these things.
Emily believes students should reach out to a success coach/peer mentor because “we are here to help with the transition from high school to college life. The new lifestyle changes as a first-time college student can be confusing and hard. We are students just like you, so we were just in your shoes not too long ago. We are just here to guide you along the way, answer any questions, and hold you accountable.”
To end Emily’s introduction off on the right note I asked her for the strangest thing in her backpack and it was a deck of cards. I also asked for a slogan and Emily created “coffee with a side of life.” Emily, among our other success coaches, does a great job and wants to see all Missouri State Bears succeed.
The second success coach I am highlighting today is Kyra. Kyra moved to Missouri State University after completing her undergraduate at a different university. Kyra is here to study Industrial-Organizational Psychology (M.S.). When it was Kyra’s turn for a tip to undergraduate students she said, “Asking for help is a sign of strength and courage, not weakness.”
I personally needed to hear this so I am thankful for Kyra and her wisdom as an asset to our office. Asking for help can seem like an obstacle but it shouldn’t have to. Here in the CAST office, we are here to serve students who need or want help.
I asked Kyra as well, why students should request a success coach. “College is hard, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Success coaches and peer mentors are a stable source of assistance throughout your college experience, and they genuinely want to help you accomplish your college goals. Never feel bad for advocating for yourself by asking for the help you need to reach your goals!”
The weirdest item in Kyra’s backpack was a pair of soaking wet socks from the torrential downpour of rain. I asked this question because knowing that success coaches are just like us can make us feel more comfortable approaching them. Kyras’s slogan would be, “Unleash your potential” or “Do you have any chocolate?”
Although I only introduced two success coaches today, we have fourteen coaches in total. If anything from this post stuck out to you or you want to meet the other coaches, you can navigate our website and find them listed under the staff tab or keep an eye out for future blog introductions. I hope your biggest takeaway from this post is that our success coaches are here for our students and they want to be a helping hand.
(Bio: My name is Aubrey Hardy, a junior studying special needs education. Fun fact: I grew up on a farm.)