The Division of Academic Success houses not one, but two, student leadership groups—the Tutoring & Writing Center’s Peer Executive Board (or E-Board) and the Center for Academic Coaching’s FMC, which stands for foundation, meaning, and contribution. Matching Endicott’s entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit, these groups give students the opportunity to become leaders in the community.
“I hire so many students who are looking for more responsibility and opportunities for growth,” says Brittany Potter, Director of the Tutoring & Writing Center. “Since we are grounded in a peer-to-peer philosophy, it only makes sense that peer tutors mentor other peer tutors.”
The Tutoring & Writing Center’s E-Board consists of 10 peer tutors who meet with Potter twice per month to discuss tutoring sessions, share updates on the Center, and brainstorm ideas for academic or social events to market their services. Members of the E-Board check in with a number of peer tutors to provide another support system within the Center.
“The overall mission of the group is to collaborate with me to ensure that the peer tutor’s voice is always being heard, and that the staff feels like a community,” Potter asserts.
The E-Board also takes part in New Peer Tutor Training, which happens at the start of each semester. This is an essential element of a peer tutor’s orientation; they are trained not only on the technical aspects of tutoring but also on the social aspects of the job, such as how to handle difficult situations.
Potter says that E-Board members make an important contribution to training when they “offer their own perspective and allow the new tutors to feel less nervous about starting their tutoring experience.”
Laurynn Bedard ‘21, a Marketing Communication major, joined the E-Board as a way to be more involved in the Tutoring & Writing Center outside her tutoring hours. She joined the E-Board as a junior, during its first semester in Fall 2019.
“When I realized how special the Tutoring & Writing Center really was as an inclusive and supportive space on campus, I really wanted to be more involved,” Bedard says. “Tutoring became an unexpected outlet where I could get to know other people, and also encourage others who were looking for writing support.”
Bedard’s role on the E-Board has also allowed her to develop skills for her professional future. “As a marketing communication student, strategizing, brainstorming, and creative problem solving will be major parts of how I develop my career. Collaborating as a board is great practice for collaborative environments in the workplace.”
Bedard says that the most rewarding part of helping her fellow Gulls is growth. “Whether I work with someone for a single visit, or I see a particular student every week, I love helping other people achieve their goals.”
Growth and goal-setting are also core to FMC, the Center for Academic Coaching’s student leadership group.
“FMC is an acronym that stands for foundation, meaning, and contribution,” says Ben Horgan, Program Coordinator for the Center and the group’s advisor. “Each aspect of the FMC acronym relates to how students can optimize their Endicott experience.”
The group was formed in Fall 2019 by students enrolled in Academic Coaching who wanted to establish more of a sense of community. Seven students currently oversee FMC, with a total membership of 20. FMC’s biggest project is the Assistant Coaching initiative, which connects two students in a peer coaching relationship. The initiative is aimed at, but not exclusive to, first-year students.
“By connecting with a student leader, a role model, and a facilitative guide all in one, these students accelerate optimizing their Endicott experience,” says Horgan. “Students construct a foundation of success and connection, they make meaning of their endeavors, and they realize their ability to contribute to other students' experiences. At the same time, they find a shared purpose.”
While the group has been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, in the past, FMC has also hosted community events designed to bring fun, optimism, and connection to peer students.
Aidan Wyatt ’23, a Nursing major, joined FMC as a first-year student in Spring 2020, because he wanted to be able to give back to the College. “In high school, I was never part of the student government and I regret not participating,” says Wyatt. “By joining FMC, I received a second chance for something that I always wanted to do.”
FMC’s Assistant Coaching initiative has allowed Wyatt to build essential mentoring skills. “In today's world, we are always worried about our issues. Yet, when you take your mind off yourself and you focus it upon another student, it makes you a better person,” says Wyatt. “I feel like I am more understanding and empathetic towards others and I think that makes me not only a better mentor but a better friend as well.”
Wyatt says the most rewarding part of helping his fellow Gulls is talking to new students about their triumphs and struggles. “I like helping students format a plan that will reduce their stress but also lead them toward success. If we can reduce their worries, students become more clear, calm, and confident.”
Bedard and Wyatt are examples of the Division of Academic Success’ commitment to building leaders for the Endicott community. These student leaders help demonstrate the importance of peer-to-peer relationships and providing opportunities for responsibility and collaboration. Learn more about the Division of Academic Success.