Success coaching was created in Newcomb-Tulane College seven years ago, to provide additional student support. The team of professional coaches use skills-based techniques to support students in their academic, personal and career planning. Thanks to a generous donation from the Klingenstein Family, fall 2019 is the beginning of a new program — Peer Success Leaders. This group of highly motivated and capable students are ready to assist their peers through the challenges their first year brings. Working with a peer will provide students with the opportunity to connect with someone who understands what they are going through first-hand. The students can meet their peer leader in various campus locations such as Mussafer Hall, the Academic Learning and Tutoring Center, library, or PJ's Coffee shops during and after normal business hours, making the services truly accessible.
“My goal is to help students like me comprehend that their struggles and doubts are valid and worthy of attention just as much as their successes and triumphs are worthy of celebration.”
The Peer Leaders program expands the number of students reached while also providing valuable skills to the leaders themselves. All seven leaders this year have a GPA above 3.0, are involved on campus and have a diverse range of backgrounds to help them connect to and motivate other students to succeed. They will get training on the wealth of resources available on campus, and how to access them, as well as professional training in motivational interviewing to ensure they are prepared to have difficult conversations with their peers in crisis. This training and experience will help to broaden their educational experience, regardless of their area of study. They also get paid!
Tanya Mandishona, program coordinator for the new group of leaders, says that she hopes interactions with peers will reduce the stigma around seeking help and give students the courage to connect with someone when they need to. The program is starting with seven but Tanya hopes to shape and grow the program over the next three years. The goal is to see more students engaged with all the success coaching programs and provide more opportunities for students to serve their peers.