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Student Academic Support Services

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Success Coaching at DC:

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.


Success Coaching for Conditional Students

Participation in the Success Coaching Program at Defiance College is REQUIRED for:

1. Conditionally Admitted Students - any incoming students who did not meet the minimum admissions requirements but showed potential for success. Conditional admittance requires that students successfully complete the coaching program through SASS the first year 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.  

2. Students on Academic Probation - undergraduate students who did poorly academically and have been placed on probation by the Office of Academic Affairs will complete an Academic Recovery program with SASS. These students will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean of Student Success, sign a contract that outlines all program requirements and obligations, complete an Individual Plan for Academic Success (IPAS) and the Learning & Study Skills Inventory (LASSI), and meet weekly with a success coach for the semester they are on probation. 

The advising models used for coaching conditionally admitted and probation students are as follows:

Proactive Advising Model Appreciative Advising Model Multiple Intervention Model

 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 advising 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 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. 

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.