Success coaches aim to help students

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Success coaches aim to help students

Danielle Livingston, Staff Reporter

According to Eric Blacknall, senior director of student success and engagement, the duties of a success coach are “to have students stay in school, get good grades, graduate, prepare to go to work in a career pathway that is both satisfying and rewarding in terms of finances and/or to go to graduate school.”

This semester, Mary Jo Jetzer, coordinator of the business administration division and center for economic education and fine arts, and Rick Herian were added as graduate interns for the success coaches program. One of their tasks is reading over students’ resumes to fix obvious errors, which allows the success coaches to focus on the structural aspects of a resume and to fine-tune it.

Another aspect of a success coach’s job is to meet with students to ensure that the students are keeping up with their grades and are looking for employment or graduate schools for their future after Lakeland.

Jess Lambrecht, director of career services and student success and engagement coach, said that she enjoys being a cheerleader for the students. She also loves it when students come in to tell her about the achievements they have earned.

Additionally, each student success and engagement coach has a niche that he or she specializes in. Lambrecht is involved with employer relations.

Kay Voss aids in student employment and internship searching while supervising the front desk. Lisa Stephan works with new student orientations and the Blue & Gold Champions. Corey Roberson is involved with Greek life. Whitney Diedrich handles student organizations and leadership opportunities.

Blacknall has a four year plan for student success and success coaches. This plan revolves around acquiring research literature and data on how to increase and retain students while keeping them successful. The four-year calendar also has checkpoints for each student to reach, which starts from the time they are a freshmen until they walk across the stage to receive their diploma. Additionally, the plan involves student activities and weekend events to allow students to get to know one another.

Blacknall also urges students to help the success coaches. If students see something they would like changed, they should speak up and let the success coaches know how or what to change.

According to Blacknall, there is a “Lakeland heart” that drives the college and keeps it thriving. He hopes that with the success coaches’ help, he can make the Lakeland heart grow every semester.

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