When Owens Community College graduate Lindsey Minnig learned about the opportunity to become an AmeriCorps College Completion Coach, she jumped at the chance to help students the way someone helped her when she started college.
“When I first started at Owens I was in a program called Project Degree,” the 2013 graduate recalls. “This program helped first-year students overcome the barriers of being a college student. Coming out of high school, I did not have much motivation or passion to learn. This program really opened my eyes to how important education is and how valuable of a tool it is.”
Minnig graduated from Owens with an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree with a Communications focus and transferred to Bowling Green State University to major in Communications with a career focus in Social Work. She’s excited to be back at Owens as an AmeriCorps College Completion Coach.
“Becoming an AmeriCorps College Completion Coach was not a hard choice for me to make because it meant I would be working with students and at the place where my life changed for the better,” Minnig said. “One of my many passions is to help people and give them the tools they need to achieve their goals. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing you made an impact on someone’s life.”
The AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches Initiative is part of a collaborative effort between the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, the Ohio College Access Network and ServeOhio to help first-time community college students succeed in their academic and career aspirations. This initiative will directly impact retention and completion in several ways.
“Many students coming to Owens are first-generation college students or non-traditional students who don’t really know about the college culture or atmosphere,” Minnig said. This can make a student’s college career very difficult. This is where my coworker Hilary Tore and I come in. Our goal is to connect students with resources they might not know are on campus and try to make them feel more comfortable so they will want to complete their degree.”
The coaches will also hold workshops during the semester to help students with organization, stress management and motivation.
Each coach will provide assistance to a cohort of 100 students who are first-time community college students, enrolled in developmental education courses and Pell-eligible. The coaches will be responsible for helping their student cohort in completing their development courses and then helping them to enroll in college-level credit courses. Additionally, coaches will serve as a support system for the students and assist them in progressing through their completion plan.
Minnig said this new position will be similar to her experiences at Owens as a Civic Ambassador.
“Becoming a Civic Ambassador was the best choice I have made in my college career,” she said. “Working as a Civic Ambassador challenged me to become a well-rounded person and gave me inspiration to be a better person. I am looking forward to working with the current Civic Ambassadors to make a difference at Owens.”