August 9, 2005
Saia presents Compass program to Louisiana community college
Sue Saia, dean of student life at Cowley College, recently shared information about Cowley’s Compass mentoring program with Sullivan Technical College in Bogalusa, La.
Saia was approached in June following her presentation at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s international conference in Austin, Texas. Deborah Taylor, Sullivan’s assistant dean, invited Saia to present the information to faculty during the college’s inservice on Aug. 3. Sullivan paid for all of Saia’s expenses.
Twenty-four faculty members and some administrators listened to Saia’s workshop
“They were great to me,” Saia said. “Things went really well. It was an honor to be invited to come.”
Cowley’s Compass Program is based on the philosophy that students who feel a sense of belonging in their campus community are more successful in obtaining their academic goals. Through this volunteer program, students are matched with a Cowley administrator, faculty or staff member who will be the student’s guide, or compass, during the orientation class.
The Compass leader also will serve as an informal mentor during the school year. The goal of the program is to provide students with one other person, in addition to their instructors, academic advisors and coaches, who can provide support and encouragement during their time at Cowley.
During Orientation, Compass leaders will meet with their groups, facilitate activities and make a personal connection with each student. Students will be encouraged to stay in contact with their Compass leader throughout the semester. It is one more way the college is attempting to personally reach out to students, make them feel welcome, and provide them with another adult contact on campus that they could turn to for assistance or just a friendly smile.