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Student Academic Support Services: Success Coaching

Success Coaching

Success Coaching at Defiance College:

The Success Coaches of Defiance College are committed to building growth-oriented relationships that inspire students to achieve academic and personal goals. While helping students develop intellectually, emotionally, and socially, we will serve as guides for sustainable success and empower students to connect to DC and their community.


Academic Coaching

  • Help students develop an educational plan that fits their  goals yet meets the requirements for their program of study.
  • Demonstrating to students how to check on their own academic progress
  • Challenge and support students to meet their academic goals
  • Help students navigate through academic policies and system-wide graduation requirements

Career Coaching

  • Encourage engagement and reflection of multiple career options within their major
  • Help prepare students for their steps towards and after graduation
  • Challenge and support students to create their career path(s)

Life Coaching

  • Support students through the transition to their college career
  • Support students through personal impacts that can happen during a college education and direct students to the appropriate resources


  • Study Skills (methods for note taking, how best to prepare for exams, etc.)
  • Financial Awareness (Knowing the deadlines for completing forms for Financial Aid, how a change of Academic Standing and number of credits attempted can affect your aid)
  • Academic Planning (Goal setting, identifying issues resulting in change of Academic Standing, developing strategies to improve academic performance)
  • Time Management (Juggling work, school, and life)
  • Getting to Know Your Faculty
  • Self-Awareness (Helping students understand strengths, values, interests, purpose, and passion, and how to be responsible for their own actions and decisions)
  • Career exploration
  • Referrals (Counseling Center, Career Development, and Academic Advising)

Success Coaching for Conditional Students

Participation in the Success Coaching Program at Defiance College is required for incoming students who do not meet the minimum admissions requirements but show potential for success. Conditional admittance requires that students successfully complete the coaching program through SASS the first semester on campus. Conditional students sign a contract that outlines all program requirements and obligations. Through this program, the SASS office provides weekly advising for conditional students to improve academic skills and gain access to support services as they acclimate to college life.  The advising models used for coaching conditionally admitted students are as follows:

Proactive Advising Model

The Conditional Advising Program utilizes a proactive adivising model to assist conditional students successfully transition both academically and socially during their first semester on campus. A defining feature of this approach is that contact is initiated by the advisor rather than the student.  We meet with students weekly to proactively address any issues that arise before those issues become serious concerns.  Proactive adiving involves:

  • early intervention at the first sign of any type of difficulty (initial risk factors are identified in the first meeting);
  • introduction of rules, policies and procedures, along with clear explanations and expectations of students;
  • monitoring progress of students to determine how well they are using information and resources provided; and
  • customizing intervention and targeting it specifically toward student needs.

Appreciative Advising Model

As well as utilizing an proactive model, the appreciative advising framework is applied in working with conditional students.  Appreciative advising harnesses the power of the organizational development theory of Appreciative Inquiry and the positive psychology literature to provide a framework for increasing adviser and student success. Appreciative Advising is a six phase process:

1. Disarm – create a safe and welcoming environment for students

2. Discover- identify strengths and weaknesses with student

3. Dream – have student formulate goals

4. Design – collaborate on creating a plan for the student

5. Deliver – student implements the plan

6. Don’t Settle – challenge the student to raise their internal bar of self-expectations. 

Multiple Intervention Model

Along with the proactive and appreciative advising models, a multiple intervention model is also utilized to maximize effectiveness. This model assesses students concerns in a holistic manner, helps students explore their motivations, find the flash point, and intervene with students to help them improve college performance. This is a student-focused model like proactive advising that is designed to actively involve the student in each step of the process. This model utilizes both cognitive (inner work) and behavioral (action work) strategies.  

Director of SASS

Lisa Crumit-Hancock's picture
Lisa Crumit-Hancock
Defiance College
Pilgrim Library
Student Success Services
Room 216



201 College Pl. Defiance, OH 43512


[p:] (419) 783-2481