Student success is a priority to Ursinus Staff

Layla Halterman (

Ursinus College’s commitment to student success is no secret. Katie O’Brien, the associate director of the Institute for Student Success (ISS), and her team found that the need for academic coaching was growing the last few semesters and decided to take charge. 

The ISS offered a series of academic success workshops last semester, but “they were not very well attended.” This drove staff to revamp their offerings, which is why she and her staff birthed an academic skill and success course called “Create Success: Skills for Academic Success in College” (IDS-021) this semester.

O’Brien is confident that this two-credit course “helps students develop strategies and skills needed to achieve academic and personal success in college.” This class is also a great opportunity for students wanting to earn credits towards their degree.

Alongside Adam Linetty and Dolly Singley, O’Brien developed an additional peer academic coaching program. There were 71 peer academic sessions held last semester, but she estimates that the number will “increase because of the requirement of IDS-021 …  to engage in peer academic coaching.”

As for turnout, both programs are thriving as of now, but O’Brien said they will have a better idea of how successful the programs were by the end of the semester. 

Hat tip to Katie and her fellow colleagues for thinking creatively. Their dedication to student success never goes unnoticed.