Success coaches provided to UD freshmen in inaugural program
By Dave Larsen, Staff Writer
DAYTON — Michael Jones had never stepped foot on the University of Dayton campus before Friday, Aug. 21, when he arrived to start his freshman year of college. But Jones, the first in his family to attend college, was familiar with the school from conversations with a personal success coach provided by the university.
“It’s a new world out there,” said Jones, 17, of Charleston, W.Va. “I’m basically going in blind, but not really because she is there to help me.”
UD is one of the first schools to ever offer success coaches to all incoming first-year students, said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president of enrollment management.
The coaches personally assist students’ transition from high school to college life, counseling them about academic goals, living with roommates, time and money management, and homesickness.
First-year UD students start moving in at campus today. Fall classes start Wednesday. Nearly 80 percent of UD’s approximately 1,700 incoming freshmen have had at least one conversation with a success coach, Kumarasamy said.
The service is new this year. Coaches are provided free to students for six months leading up to the start of classes and during their first semester.
Jones didn’t yet know anyone at UD, apart from his coach, Hayley Kimble.
“She is the first person I would call if anything was going wrong, besides my parents,” Jones said.