Student success coaches provide support and guidance

Published by , Date: August 23, 2020

The student success coaches, part of the Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE) within student affairs, provides academic, social and personal support to students through their college journey.

Students that wish to make an appointment with the student success coaches can do so through the OIE, either through the office’s secretary or by emailing

Emliy McClaine and Julie Ferringer, both success coaches, said that the office wants to make students feel welcome and find their fit at Slippery Rock.

McClaine said that students can engage in introductory conversations about finding a resource, obtaining information, learning university policy or starting to develop a skill.

“We bridge students to the experts on campus in certain areas or dive deep into coaching topics like time management, exploring motivation and healthy academic habits,” McClaine said. “It is highly individualized. We see how we can help and we provide that follow up and accountability.”

Ferringer agrees, and took part of the committee to create Rock Learning Now, an opportunity for students to chat one on one with a peer mentor and help ease the online transition.

“Sometimes it takes time to figure out what works for you,” Ferringer said.

Along with finding a connection with peers in classes or through clubs and organizations, McClaine said that it is important for first year students to connect with their advisor early in the first semester.

A student’s academic advisor is going to be an important part of their academic year, McClaine said.

The success coaches also recommend taking steps to set up a work environment and space that will allow the student to be successful.

“It’s not your typical atmosphere right now,” Ferringer said. “Make sure that your space is conducive to the work you need to do.”

McClaine also agrees, and advises students to figure our their organizational style. This can include how to organize their selves and keep track of their notes.

“Figure out what your personal preference is and figure out what works for you in your college experience,” McClaine said

For students who may find it challenging to be an online learner, the success coaches are available for support. Resources can also be found on the success coaching page.

“This semester might require a little extra energy and initiative from our students,” McClaine said.

Although some offices may be acting remotely, such as Ferringer and McClaine at times, Ferringer said that ‘The Rock’ is 100 percent committed to their students.

Encouraging students to find what will keep them motivated, McClaine also reminded students that the university community cares deeply about every student.

“We want to see you succeed,” McClain said. “We are here if you are struggling. It’s going to be tough, but you are all going to get through it. Use support systems that are available, even if they are virtual, and use them to keep moving towards your goals.”

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Hope is a senior converged journalism major entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as campus life editor. Previously, she served as assistant campus life editor after contributing to the campus life section her freshman year. After graduation, she hopes to report for a paper either in local journalism or city news. Outside of The Rocket, Hope is also part of the JumpStart Mentor Program, the Student Organization of Latinos Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Lambda Pi Eta.


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