First-year students start in the right direction with Compass advising mentors

The first weeks of college are exciting. New freedoms, new friends, and a whole lot of new, unexpected, responsibilities.

As a way to help first-year students acclimate to campus, Oglethorpe University offers Compass advising, a program to help students begin to identify, clarify, and achieve their education, career, and personal goals.

“It has not only shaped my life, it changed my life.”

Compass advising is designed to inspire first-year students to seek academic-professional-personal-social balance, and to prevent or overcome setbacks or crises that may disrupt this balance.

“They told me that it was beneficial for me, so I wouldn’t be lost in the dark as a college student,” said Justin Bennett ’22, who says Compass has exceeded his expectations. “As a program, it has not only shaped my life, it changed my life.”

He first learned about the program during MAP Day, a summer orientation where each first-year student meets their assigned Compass advisor who will help navigate academic decisions, but just as importantly, will just listen.

“When there are big things coming up, like registration, we’ll definitely have a meeting just to talk about that, and my major and minor,” said Courtney Davis ’22. “But, then other times they just ask, ‘How are you doing?’ You know, I told (my advisor) about my life stories, so that’s really nice.”

“I guess I would say that they have a holistic approach. It’s like, let’s talk about continuing to make sure that you have your grades straight, but then also (my advisor) accounts for my well-being and my person.”

Davis is a Human Resources Management major, and is working on a Spanish minor. Her Compass advisor, Cecil Rose, has already helped Davis change her major and is always there for an equal dose of motivation and reality.

“Whatever idea I came to him about, he gave me multiple ways to work on it and what I could do about it,” Davis said. “And he was also real with me. They’re really interested in every student and what they have going on in their lives, not just academics.”

Bennett has had a similar experience. The French and Business Administration (Finance) double major has found that his advisor, Dr. Jay Lutz, is more than just another counselor.

“He’s not just there for academics and counseling,” Bennett said. “I think it’s more of an overall mentorship. He’s a person you can go talk to whenever and with whatever. For me, he is a confidant.”

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