Academic coaches joining Owen Center team

With a little help from faculty, staff, coaches and student-workers, the Owen Center for Career and Academic Support is launching two new academic-support initiatives this fall.

The new Academic Coaching program is designed to help students strengthen their academic skills and self-confidence. Academic Coaches will be trained, academically successful Heidelberg students. The students will begin the training in August.

Once implemented, students will be able to schedule appointments with Academic Coaches at any time during the semester. The program is in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs’ RISE Mentoring Program. While the OMSA has focused on student perceptions of belonging at Heidelberg, the Academic Coaches will assist students in understanding and developing their academic belonging, too.

“The Academic Coaches will use a peer-support model to give other students more confidence in their place at Heidelberg,” said Academic Support Coordinator Lauren Tompkins. “These coaches are opening a conversation that will help us identify ways to help students become successful.”

With the completion of the Supplemental Instruction Supervisor Workshop at the International Center for Supplemental Instruction in February, Lauren is also helping to launch the same program at Heidelberg. Each SI-supported course will have a student leader, someone who has successfully completed the course with at least a B or better, who will lead group study sessions twice a week.

“(Supplemental Instruction) is a big responsibility all around,” Lauren said. “It’s a proven academic-support model in which participants should earn one-half to a full grader higher than non-participants.” With extensive faculty collaboration, the program is being developed to supply support for seven different courses at Heidelberg. The work constitutes the biggest commitment to academic support the Owen Center has produced, so far.

“We're actively engaging with learning in so many different ways now,” Lauren added. “I'm most excited about how all of these support options enhance our learning community.”

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