Students walking around a Baker College Career Fair
Baker College announces an initiative for Student Success and Engagement (SSE) with a well-rounded approach aimed at engaging students across multiple platforms and services. The SSE team has been developed to foster personal and professional growth by implementing strategies that will serve as the model for student success in the higher education realm. Through student success teams, student affinity groups, mentorship, competitive games, mental health (virtual care) support, and employer relations, a pathway is being created allowing students to remain confident in their academic journey—along with ensuring the maintenance of their social and mental wellbeing.
With Baker College having a student-first philosophy, knowing how to connect with students and realistically meet their needs can create a sense of community and inclusivity. One main goal of this team is to encourage students to participate in support groups so they can graduate on time and have a fulfilling post-secondary career with as little debt as possible.
“We are committed to transforming the lives of all students by providing enriching experiences and collaborative support services in an effort to guide students through the process of personal and professional discovery and growth. By modeling compassion, integrity, and inclusivity, our students are empowered to impact their communities,” said Jamie Zamjahn, Baker College Vice President of Student Success and Engagement.
Through the reorganization, faculty positions have been established that will promote work in vital services such as disability services, peer mentors, cultural programming, and a CARE Team. The latter will play a crucial role in identifying individuals who may be exhibiting early warning signs of troubled, disruptive, or violent behavior, ensuring a safe and supportive environment for all students.
The team consists of: Vice President of Student Success and Engagement – Jamie Zamjahn, Dean of Students – Dr. Voula Erfourth, System Director for Career Services and Business Development – Tony Vuckovich, Director of Multicultural Student Services – Dr. Iris Lane, Head Esports Coach – Ben Sobczyk, Director of Student Success Operations – Dr. Eric Surge, and Student Success Advisors within each program.
By incorporating data-driven decision-making techniques, Baker College aims to enhance connections and promote engagement with Generation Z, Millennials, and Generation X students. In the realm of innovation, the addition of esports adds a unique and cutting-edge aspect to SSE. “We are building a robust club scene within Student Life. With esports being a mostly online community, it lends itself to our situation with multiple campuses and online learners. So this will be a chance for our students, wherever they are, to connect together, either casually through video games or competitively through esports competitions with other higher education institutions,” said Ben Sobczyk, Head Esports Coach.
Dr. Iris Lane, the newly appointed Director of Multicultural Student Services, is spearheading efforts to create an inclusive environment where every student feels valued and supported. “Currently, I am working on heritage programming which celebrates cultural differences. I’m working to ensure underrepresented students are visible and embraced,” Dr. Lane said.
There are many components that make the overall higher education experience rewarding and comprehensive. Baker College is taking proactive steps to empower its students and equip them with the necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
“From ensuring our students have their basic needs met so they can focus on academics to supporting their mental health and wellbeing through our partnership with the Virtual Care Group and EVERYTHING in between, the goal of our team is to make sure students feel connected and know they belong at Baker College,” said Dr.Voula Erfourth, Dean of Students. “We’re all in this together.”