By Pete Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor
This fall marks the second school year for LIU Promise, a program that pairs freshmen students with Success Coaches who aim to make the college experience easier. These coaches provide career counseling, as well as assistance with enrollment, major selection, scholarships, financial planning, internships, and encouragement of assigned students to becoming active members of the campus community.
The 10 Success Coaches are Ali DiBona, Daniel Lauterman, Greg Schimmel, Katelin Townsend, Kaitlin Jensen, Leslie Baim, Samantha Gottlieb, Saadia Rafiq, Daniel Carlos, and Alissa Karcz. Their offices were relocated over the summer from Winnick House to the 2nd floor
of Hillwood Commons, in room 270. LIU Promise started in the spring of this year. Junior and senior students still receive advisement from a separate team at Enrollment Services in Kumble Hall.
“LIU Promise was very successful in its first year,” said DiBona, Senior Associate Director of the program. “Although we didn’t start the program at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, all of the Success Coaches have had the opportunity to get to know their students on a whole different level.”
According to DiBona, not only do the coaches help their students academically, but they also assist with career development, financial aid, and suggestions for getting involved on campus. The coaches received workshop training to build their knowledge of all majors at LIU Post.
“I am grateful that I have [DiBona] as my LIU Post Promise Coach,” said Nick Butcher, a sophomore Biomedical Sciences major. Butcher had to switch his major in the closing weeks of the summer, when most of his new required classes had already been filled. DiBona assisted in getting him back on track by sorting out which classes this semester would allow him to continue on as a Radiology major next year.
“I have the highest praise for her,” Butcher continued. “Having someone like her on your side is the greatest asset and weapon you have in getting through much of the red tape that might block you.”
Melanie Coffey, a sophomore Film major, who is now studying abroad in London, England, was still able to receive assistance from the LIU Promise program in the latter part of summer through online counseling. “[My success coach and I] talked about internships for next summer, and how to go about making a résumé and portfolio for both film and class work,” she said.
“Success Coaches are encouraged to support their students outside of the office by attending their athletic games, club events, and activities on campus,” DiBona added. “The design of the LIU Promise model is that all students remain with their coaches throughout their entire time at LIU.”
One may wonder how a team of 10 coaches can handle such a large group of students and their individual problems. LIU Post admitted roughly 500 new first year students this year. DiBona, however, was confident in her team, and their involvement with assigned students. Students can make an appointment with their Success Coaches, or stop by during the day. “We try to be as flexible and accessible as possible. We have students in and out of our office all day long,” DiBona said.
This year will be a test to see how successful the program is, in light of many other recent changes on campus, including the closing of Kings and Queens Hall, the merger between Student Life and the Office of Residence Life, and a shuffling of administrative leadership.