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New Student Success Center Points Students in the Right Direction

September 4, 2019 | by Dylan Speer

Briar Cliff University saw many changes over the summer including an addition designed for student success and convenience: the COMPASS.

The focus of the COMPASS is to point students in the right direction. They have a diverse staff from various departments that can help students with their needs. Whether that be help finding financial aid assistance, academic support and tutoring resources, personal counseling and many other areas.

“We’re kind of a one stop, go-to department for all students on campus,” says Tiffany Cox, an academic success coach at BCU.

The COMPASS stemmed from the Academic Achievement department, says Cox, “It’s a student navigation service department… we have grown it and evolved it to more than just academics.”

The new department is located in the former campus ministry offices and Roth Business lab in Heelan Hall.

Larry Obermeyer, director of resource development and special projects, compares the COMPASS to how a hotel runs, “It’s kind of like a concierge service at a hotel, they try to take the guest’s needs and match them to the appropriate person or resource.”

Being a new service, there are some things they are still experimenting with, like how to group students in a way that is manageable by the department. They have assigned members to each athletic team on campus, Cox explains, “the way we have decided to split it up, because it is easier and most of our students are athletes, is by sport.” She also says that they have experience with doing it this way in the past so it made for an easy transition but it is not something that is safe from change.

The COMPASS has multiple different support outlets under it’s umbrella that make it a complete support system. Partnered with them is Academic Achievement, Campus Ministry and the Leadership and Success Coaching Coordinator Sr. Pat Doody. Since it is so new, it is still a work in progress and there are some people and departments who are helping but not technically a part of it and there are some who could be added in the future.

“We’re starting to roll out all of the different things we’re trying to take on…” says Cox, “we’re starting slow and trying to at least get us known as a go to person.”

This coincides with BCU’s interest in trying to make success more convenient for its students, with all of the recent office moves around campus. The COMPASS groups a number of similar support groups in one area in Heelan Hall for students to find what they need quick and easy. The changes to Noonan Hall and the Stark Center are also a part of this new movement.

The COMPASS staff includes:

Academic Achievement

● Jessie McCormick

● Maria Cancino

COMPASS Navigator

● Blanca Gomez

Academic Success Coaches

● Tiffany Cox

● Sister Pat Doody

Campus Ministry

● Sister Janet May

The staff of the COMPASS teams up to give students direction. Left to right, back: Blanca Gomez, Tiffany Cox, Maria Cancino and Jessie McCormick. Front: Sister Pat Doody and Sister Janet May.

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