Personal Connectors and Coaches for First-Year Students
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A program connecting first-year students with non-academic advisors offers a personal connection at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The Connectors Program is a two-year old program at the university partnering incoming students (connectees) with a staff member or administrator (connectors) for the duration of the student’s first academic year.
“The response we have received from employees has been overwhelming,” says Nancy Komada, Ph.D, senior director of adult and off-campus student life, who implemented the University’s Connectors Program in 2008. “This is a volunteer program; we have over 100 individuals from security to student life eager to introduce our newest members to the Saint Joseph’s community.”
While students will continue to ask their faculty advisors about which classes to take, questions about campus life will be directed toward the connectors.
“Students have asked me questions about roommate selection, where to catch the train or when basketball tickets go on sale,” says Patty Martin, associate director of government relations who volunteers as a connector. “I don’t work in an academic department, so the Connectors Program is a great way for me to keep in touch with the students. After all, that’s why we’re here.”