Success Connections offers customized way to be successful

August 24, 2017

Success Connections is ready to help Heartland students thrive.

Formerly known as Rebound, the program used to be an intervention for students who needed to make satisfactory academic progress to keep their financial aid. With a new name, Success Connections is expanding its outreach to include all students.

According to Coordinator of General Studies Jennifer Vieley, the program links students to resources that support their academic, career and individual goals.

“The name really says what we’re all about,” Vieley explains. “We’re here to help students overcome the challenges they’re facing, set goals and promote all the support services we have on campus. Success Connections is the one-stop-shop to connect students with the right resources.”

How it Works

Overall, Vieley says Success Connections is a customized way to get planning for life success.

Each participant gets their own personal coach. Success Connections coaches have a master’s degree and have undergone professional training. Participants and coaches meet regularly, at least once a month or more depending on a student’s preference. Appointments can be made online and last approximately an hour.

At first, coaches and participants spend time getting to know one another, talking about experiences, goals and any barriers or obstacles that might interfere with a student’s ambitions. “This serves as a needs assessment,” said Vieley. “The initial meeting drives the direction and frequency of future meetings so we can bridge any gaps and meet the student’s needs.”

Vieley goes on to explain that goals and barriers can take on many forms. “Some students might be having financial challenges, so we would likely work on budgeting. Others may need some help with study skills and time management. Our main goal is to help students persist, no matter what their goals or obstacles may be.”

Once goals and challenges are identified, students and coaches spend the semester working on them.

Instilling Confidence

Linda Lambert works in Heartland’s business technology learning center and is also a Success Connections coach. She says the program is important because it helps students overcome short-term situations so their long-term goals aren’t affected. “If you’re not achieving goals, you need to do something different,” she explains. “By working with a success coach, you are learning new skills and techniques to succeed.”

Christopher Gabbrants was a program participant during the spring 2017 semester. He joined after being put on financial aid appeal, meaning he needed to raise his GPA in order to receive financial aid. “After many years of bouncing between schools and programs, this was my last chance using government assistance,” he said. “I volunteered to participate in the program because I wanted to be extra sure that I made satisfactory academic progress.”

Working with his personal coach, Gabbrants said he got a lot out of the program by talking through his thoughts and concerns about education in general. “We spent the semester going over my past experiences, my present situation and my future pursuits. I got help on everything from study and time management habits to degree and career options. What I liked most was having someone I could talk to about everything swirling around in my head. My coach was really like a mentor and that’s what I truly needed to have the confidence to succeed.”

Getting Started

To learn more about Success Connections, check out their website for coach bios, appointment scheduling and more.

Written by: Becky Gropp