The Department of Student Success staff includes (from L-R) – Emily Severeid-Geiss, Stephanie Whitener, Dr. Nathan Miller and Rachel Smith

By Donnie Andrick

Columbia College prides itself in helping students set and achieve their educational goals. One way the college ensures its students achieve their full potential inside and outside the classroom is with Student Success advising.

The Department of Student Success has a top-notch team that works together to help students graduate on time, set academic goals, overcome barriers, establish a balance between school and extracurricular activities, and take ownership of success and setbacks. Guiding this team is Senior Director Dr. Nathan Miller and Advisors Rachel Smith, Stephanie Whitener and Emily Severeid-Geiss.

“Columbia College was founded on the idea of access to education,” Miller says. “The Department of Student Success is committed to this ideal, which we express through supporting students throughout their college experience.”

The team is also here to support students with their adjustment to college life. The college strives to keep all students, traditional or nontraditional, from getting lost in the shuffle while transitioning into their role as a student. It’s no secret that student obligations can be overwhelming to deal with, and Student Success is dedicated to making the process more manageable.

Student Success does more than student planning, though. It’s possible that financial situations will change throughout a student’s academic career and Student Success serves as a resource to students for support and guidance. Through its Money Stacks program, Student Success promotes financial awareness by assisting students in maintaining financial aid, finding and renewing scholarships, planning for a decrease in financial aid, and budgeting for school and personal experiences.

For many students, including senior Ashley Brouder, the solutions Student Success has for financial and academic situations is a much-needed reason to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Contacting Student Success, particularly after a rough semester, helped tremendously,” Brouder says. “They helped create the best schedule for me to recover […] I’m graduating on time, in May, with all of my scholarships intact, and that was possible with their help.”