Owens Community College and nine other institutions in Ohio have been chosen to help first-time community college students as part of the new AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches Initiative.
The AmeriCorps program is part of a collaborative effort between the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, the Ohio College Access Network, and ServeOhio (Ohio Commision on Service and Volunteerism).
“In this exciting initiative, we are using the leadership skills of recent community college graduates to provide mentoring and coaching to community college students, many of whom are first-generation college students,” said Ronald Abrams, president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, which represents the 23 community colleges in Ohio.
“These ‘coaches’ will provide their students with the support needed to create their educational completion plan, and then mentor them through challenges they may encounter as they move ahead through their plan.”
More than 20 recent community college graduates will serve as coaches at 10 Ohio colleges. Each coach will provide assistance to a 100 students who are first-time community college students enrolled in developmental education courses and Pell-eligible. The coaches will be responsible for helping students complete developmental courses and then to enroll in college-level credit courses. Coaches also will help the students complete their plans.
Coaches at Owens are Adam Masters and Tiffany Steele, both of Bowling Green. Masters recently earned his associate’s degree from Owens, while Steele obtained both her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bowling Green State University. Masters is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business management at BBSU and Steele is enrolled in the University of Toledo’s master’s degree program in recreational administration.
Karen Shultz, Owens manager of Testing Services who will oversee the AmeriCorps coaching program, said, “Adam and Tiffany will be working with students individually and through workshops... to help connect them to services on campus to enhance student success. Often new students can find it difficult to navigate different resources to be successful.”
Other Ohio community colleges participating in the program are Columbus State Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, Hocking College, Lakeland Community College, North Central State College, Northwest State Community College, Southern State Community College, Terra Community College, and Zane State Community College.