Student Success Coaching

University College now offers free professional Student Success Coaching to help students gain insight into themselves as they pursue success academically and personally. Through discovery and curiosity, coaches partner with students to develop the necessary tools to create a thriving experience at Ball State and beyond.

Mission Statement

The Student Success Coaching office engages with students who seek to gain insight into themselves as they pursue success academically and personally. Through discovery and curiosity, we partner with students to develop the necessary tools to create a thriving experience at Ball State University and beyond. We support students as they:

  • learn how to learn
  • practice skills and habits for academic success
  • reflect on their ongoing development as scholars

We embrace each student where they are, respecting their culture, values, and lived experiences. We also aim to facilitate student self-confidence and growth, encouraging continuous self-reflection and development.

Student Success Coaching will serve as a resource for all students to achieve their fullest potential academically and personally. We will be collaborative partners with other student supporting departments.

  • Confidentiality: We promise to only share our own experiences. All that is shared between coach and student stays confidential except in case of students being harmed, harming themselves, or harming others.
  • Authenticity: We promise to show up and participate as our whole selves. This space is one of honesty and transparency.
  • Reliability: We promise to fulfill our commitments in the coaching relationship, the plans set up, and provide reflection.
  • Exploration: We promise to arrive with openness to whatever comes up in coaching, including challenges to limits, and observing without judgment.
  • Safety: We promise to allow for a safe space for students to be uniquely and fully themselves.

In addition to one-on-one success coaching with students, the Student Success Coaching Office also offers a series of skills sessions (workshops) and other activities/events throughout the academic year. Success coaches are also available to present in classrooms and to student organizations around a variety of topics including setting goals, fighting procrastination, time management, study habits, motivation, stress management, organization, and more. Skill sessions can be scheduled by reaching out to successcoach@bsu.edu or (765) 285-1178.

Spring Semester 2024 Schedule:

  • Workshop: Emotionally Equipped: Coping with College Demands & the Emotions that Come Along with Them
    Wednesday, February 7, 4 p.m., Art & Journalism Building (Room 341)

    College is demanding and often students feel stressed and overwhelmed.  This workshop is designed to teach skills to cope with the emotions that students experience as well as strategies to manage the workload to avoid increased stress and anxiety.  Join our Student Success Coaches as they share coping strategies for emotional regulation.

  • Workshop: Major Selection: What do You Want to do When You Grow Up?
    Tuesday, February 20, 4 p.m., Multicultural Center

    Are you still trying to find your passion?  Have you yet to decide on a major?  Let the Student Success Coaches guide you through some self-discovery techniques to help you determine what it is you truly want to do.  This workshop will focus on defining strengths, values, and personality traits to drive major selection.

  • Workshop: Finding Motivation: Spring Break’s Over! Now Let’s Get Back to Work
    Thursday, March 14, 4 p.m., Letterman Communication and Media Building (Room 123)

    A break is nice, but being on campus and getting back into the swing of things can be challenging.  This workshop, led by the Student Success Coaches, will help you find your motivation to get back into your class and study routine to finish the semester strong.  Join us to learn the basic strategies for getting (and staying!) motivated this spring.

  • Workshop: Fighting Procrastination: When Fear and Self-Sabotage Hold You Back
    Monday, March 25, 4 p.m., Whitinger Business Building (Room 154) 

    Your projects are staring you in the face, yet you find a million other things to do.  You've had time to complete the work, but you are distracted.  Are you experiencing fear?  Do you seem to find ways to fail, even though you are capable of doing the work?  Join Coach Mendim as he explores strategies to fight fear and self-sabotaging behaviors that fuel your procrastination. 

  • Workshop: Finals Prep
    Wednesday, April 17, 4 p.m., Multicultural Center

    As we wind down the semester and prepare for finals, we are focused on helping you finish strong!  You are not alone during this crucial time.  Our office will help you take inventory of everything you need to do before the end of the semester and formulate a plan to successfully finish.

Char Hawkins

Char Hawkins has served the Muncie, Indiana community for over 20 years in varying capacities. Through her nonprofit leadership experience, she brings a unique perspective to Student Success Coaching. Advocating for at-risk populations and walking alongside others toward their success is her passion. Assisting students in higher education is a new challenge for Char; one in which she is excited to embark. She is a Ball State graduate and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. Char came to Muncie for Ball State and has made this her home with her husband and two sons.

Mendim Akiti Headshot
Mendim Akiti

Mendim Akiti is a recent Florida State University graduate with a passion to learn about people. Born in the United States, but raised in North Macedonia until high school, Mendim can relate to being both an insider and an outsider, which helps him see multiple perspectives and be acutely aware of the adjustments and struggles that students might find themselves in while transitioning to college in the U.S. In addition to his lived experience, he has extensive knowledge of religions from his graduate work at FSU, where he taught world religions, which helped him appreciate cultural and religious differences more deeply. You can find him trying to revive a habit of reading fiction or at the movies, hoping that an indie film is showing, or, as his office sign says, he might be outside "touching grass”.

Rachel Anderson
Rachel Anderson

Rachel Anderson has decades of experience serving students as a mental health counselor, special education teacher, school counselor, adjunct professor and success coach. In her role as a high school counselor, she has worked relentlessly to encourage and assist first generation and minoritized students in realizing their dreams of attending post-secondary institutions, which she believes can change the trajectory of a person’s life. She is a graduate of Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. Rachel is a doctoral student in the Adult and Community Education Ed.D. program at BSU. She is a native of Muncie and mother of one son, David, an Architecture student at BSU.

Liana Mann Headshot
Liana Mann

Liana Mann (she/her) is from Charlotte, North Carolina but went to school in Ohio where she received a bachelor's degree in choral music education from Bowling Green State University. During her time at Bowling Green, she found her passion working with college students. She moved to Muncie, IN to pursue her master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Ball State University. During Liana's career, she has had the opportunity to work in Undergraduate Admissions, Orientation, Disability Services, Housing and Residence, and now as a Student Success Coach. When Liana isn't working, she enjoys crafting, running, musical theater, and spending time with her partner, two cats, and dog.

Larisa Rathinasamy Headshot
Larisa Rathinasamy

Larisa Rathinasamy is originally from Ukraine. She graduated from Donetsk State University with a bachelor's and master's degree in physics. She worked as a high school instructor for physics and mathematics. Alongside her teaching career she was an educational and social mentor/advisor for students, and she dedicated many years to being a volunteer teacher at Burris Laboratory School, teaching gifted and talented students how to expand their knowledge in the areas of math and spelling. More recently, she worked as an executive assistant for the AVP of Inclusive Excellence. Through her several years of working with students from a variety of backgrounds, she aspires to help people successfully achieve their goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

We define coaching as a supported partnership that empowers students to create fulfilling results in their lives, both academically and personally. Through dialogue, assessments, and exploration, students build upon their strengths to deepen their learning and ability to thrive.

  • Learn how you learn and what works best for you
  • Develop and practice skills and habits
  • Discover and harness your strengths
  • Align your life to your values
  • Provide accountability for the goals you set

Ball State University hires professional coaches with coaching certifications recognized by national and international coaching boards.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Navigate or click on "Navigate" on my.bsu.edu or download the Navigate Student app.
  2. Click on "Appointments" on the left menu.
  3. Click on the "Schedule an Appointment" at the top right (the blue box).
  4. Use the drop-down options on the left.
  5. What type of appointment: Student Success Coaching.
  6. Choose Service Type - any of them will do.
  7. Pick a date and it will take you to another screen with available times.

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