Here at Mount Saint Mary College, each incoming freshman student is assigned an academic coach from the Office of Student Success to guide him or her through the transition from high school to college. The academic coach is meant to be a friendly face that freshmen can rely on for everything from scheduling classes to discussing roommate conflicts and helps to make students more comfortable with the Mount and college life. Sophomore Criminology major Iris Stewart just finished her freshman year last year, and had some advice for incoming students about academic coaching at the Mount:
“My academic coach during freshman year was Megan Morrissey. She helped me make my schedule, advised me on classes to take, and basically functioned as my college life coach. It can be hard to go from high school to college, but with Meg, I felt less alone and I had someone to help me transition.
Meg was a huge comfort to me during my freshman year. I was really nervous about making my schedule because I thought I’d have to do it on my own, but Meg walked me through everything. She even told me about different clubs at the Mount and ways to get involved. For example, I am a dancer, so she worked with me to fit dance practice into my schedule. I thought I’d have to give up dancing in college, but Meg made sure I still found time to relax and do things that I love.
The academic coaches are great about being around during the school year to meet up with us. They often set up a table in the front of the freshman dorms just to be around if you need to talk to someone, and Meg would even email us her schedule of where she would be each week so we could find her.
Now that I’m in my sophomore year, I won’t need to have as many regular meetings with Megan now that I’m established, but I still plan on continuing to go to her office for help during finals, scheduling, and just to talk to a calming person on campus.
My advice to new students about academic coaching is to have open conversations about your schedule, internships, and career perspective in the beginning, because this will really help. Plus, don’t be afraid to email updates or if you need help with classes. That’s what your academic coach is there for!”
To learn more about academic coaching and how the Mount helps students transition from high school to college, visit http://www.msmc.edu/OSS
Iris Stewart, Class of 2020, is a Criminology major from Beacon, NY.