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News & Press: Association News

Program Spotlight: Success Coaching

Thursday, October 16, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Daugherty
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Drew Lail, NODA Intern - Fort Hays State University

Blake Studer, Social Media Student Specialist - Fort Hays State University

Success Coaching is a method where the university proactively pairs an incoming student with an undergraduate campus leader. Programs such as this actively connect incoming students to campus life and educational opportunities. FHSU has designed our Collegiate Success Coaching on this basis.


One of the FHSU institutional initiatives is to focus our efforts on undergraduate student retention from first to second year. Over the last few years, the university has seen a dramatic increase in the number of first year students arriving on campus. With this increase comes the need for programs that focus on this population. FHSU has identified three learning outcomes that we will use in this process. Participants in the program will:

  • Describe campus resources and student organizations
  • Develop a relationship with a student leader
  • Compare and contrast behaviors and choices from the beginning to the end of their first semester

Within the program, each student will receive a personal student coach who they will meet/interact with through the first semester of their first year at FHSU. These coaches will be trained in appreciative advising, basic counseling, campus information, mentoring and strategic "coaching” skill set.


Students identified prior to the beginning of their first year with the following criteria will be automatically admitted:

  • <16 ACT score
  • First generation student (first to enter college)
  • Student of color
  • International student

Because of the nature of the program, we will allow any student (regardless of academic performance or standing) to opt-in to the program. Each student will be required to fill out an online application containing personal, contact information as well as reasoning for requesting a coach. Once approved by a professional staff member, they will be assigned a personal coach.


A curriculum will be mandated for each coach-student duo to follow. Coaches will be responsible for working with each unique student and will cater their interaction to their specific needs. The two lists of requirements will include:

Student Requirements:

  • ACCESS to Success- FHSU individualized plan for student success
  • Minimum of 2 face-to-face meetings a month
  • Formal mid/end semester evaluations (for both individuals)

Coaches Requirements:

  • ACCESS to Success- Student Success Plan
  • Minimum of 2 face-to-face meetings a month
  • Formal mid/end semester evaluations
  • Encourage students to attend at least 3 different registered student organization meetings per semester
  • Attend 5+ social events per semester with the student


The purpose of this program is to improve the overall university retention rates from first to second year. Thus, the program will be assessed in three different ways. First, the retention rate of the CSC students will be compared to that of their first year cohort in general. Second, the CSC’s retention rate will be compared to the non-CSC students in the same cohort. Finally, the 2015 CSC rate will be compared to that of the 2014 CSC pilot program. 

The learning outcomes for this program will be assessed in two ways. First, there will be a pre-established rubric looking specifically at class/meeting attendance, GPA, campus involvement, social skills and study skills. Coaches and professional staff will work together to assess each participant. This process will incorporate a coach’s rubric, the participant’s reflection and the staff member asking probing questions in the areas of relationships, accountability and personal growth. This data will then be compiled and used to compare to future co-horts.     


The CSC program is a new intiative designed to meet incoming students in their current social and academic state. The coaches are fundamental in introducing these students to the college experience.

For more information on the Success Coaching program, you can contact Brett Bruner, Director of Persistence & Retention at Fort Hayes State University (

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