JAMESTOWN - James-town Community College students who are academically and culturally underprepared for college level coursework and/or a higher education environment can benefit from the services of achievement coaches.
As achievement coaches, Catherine Mulcahey and Alexander Sanders will work intensively with JCC students to enhance their college experiences through mentoring and advisement strategies.
Mulcahey, based on the Cattaraugus County Campus, and Sanders, who is working on the Jamestown Campus, will identify best practices from their work to develop new approaches to advisement.
The achievement coach positions are funded through a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). The Title III grant is also being used to strengthen student technology competencies and enhance access to higher education in the region.
Mulcahey earned a master's degree in school counseling at St. Bonaventure University. A former nurse at Port Allegany Central School, she has been a counseling intern at JCC, Beacon Light Behavioral Health, and Port Allegany High School since 2008.
Sanders, who was a counselor at JCC's Cattaraugus County Campus during the 2011-2012 academic year, earned bachelor's and master's degrees at St. Bonaventure. He served as a counselor and graduate assistant in St. Bonaventure's Teaching and Learning Center from 2009 to 2011.
Achievement coaching is designed to improve retention and graduation rates among students who can benefit from enhanced guidance on social, cultural, and academic integration and to assist in students' holistic college experiences.
One tool that will assist in the integration of achievement coaching practices into faculty advising will be the implementation of the DegreeWorks online educational planning program at JCC in 2013. DegreeWorks will assist advisors and students in their work together to develop realistic academic and career goals and will increase JCC's capability to create educational plans, collect programmatic data, and to facilitate transfer within the State University of New York.