Academic center aids ’Berg students

The Owen Academic and Career Support Center at Heidelberg University offers many individualized services to its students.

A 2010 report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education indicates nearly 60 percent of first-year college students who meet college eligibility requirements find they are not prepared for post-secondary studies.

“There are many that are unprepared,” Director Kristin Lindsay said. “There are changes and this is a new segment of their lives. Services here are different for each individual.”

Assistant Director Julie George said students are able to gain assistance with making the academic and emotional transition from high school to college, explore major choices, internships, careers, resume and cover-letter writing skills, interview skills, disability accommodation, assistance with graduate school applications, and one-on-one or group tutoring.

The center recently has been awarded a transformational gift provided by Trustee Terry Owen and his wife, Edda. According to an article published in the university’s alumni magazine, the gift will endow the ACSC in support of the Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence. In recognition of the Owenses’ gift, the center will bear their name.

During the first semester, the center recorded increases in individual appointments, email contacts, drop-in visits, resume critiques, faculty interactions and job postings.

“We work best to meet the needs of the students,” George said. “We work with students adjusting away from home with help in applying certain coping skills, and also career development to achieve their career goals. We want them to be on the right track.”

For Deana Shook, a resident assistant for first-year students, she utilized workshops in resume writing, homesickness and test anxiety for her students.

Shook is a junior majoring in psychology and minoring in German at Heidelberg. The center has helped her hone her skills of writing her resume and cover letter each semester, she said.

“They have helped me by closely looking at my resume and deciding what I need and don’t need,” Shook said.

Lindsay has helped Shook with what to do after graduation with grad school and career exploration. Shook said she plans on eventually double majoring in psychology and German but, to do so, she has to study abroad for a year.

“Kristin is helping me with working on a career path, and we are weighing the pros and cons,” Shook said. “I do plan on going to grad school and working in clinical psychology.”

Other students, including Heather Lentz, use the center to assist in balancing athletics and academics.

Lentz is a junior majoring in sports management and plays collegiate golf and basketball.

“The center has helped me with tutoring and has helped me find an internship,” Lentz said. “The center has taught me patience and it is a safe place with people that do care.”

Lentz hopes to one day to own a golf course.

A Sandusky resident, Lentz said she enjoys the small-school atmosphere and said the disabilities department was one aspect that attracted her to Heidelberg.

“I didn’t want to be just a statistic, another number,” Lentz said. “Using the center is easy flowing, smooth sailing.”

One of the many responsibilities the center has is disability services.

Freshmen Michelle Motil has been fully blind since she was 15. The center assists in getting material such as textbooks electronically and formatting worksheets to be read in Braille through a machine that puffs up the picture and text.

Also, if a publisher does not have an electronic format for a textbook, the center helps with getting the book and scanning it into Microsoft Word and saving it on a flashdrive.

“Everyone here is friendly and helpful,” Motil said. “They don’t assume to know the answer, and if they don’t know the answer, they can find someone that does.”