Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting to Know: Student Success Coach Matt Fitzgerald

Germanna Community College has launched a Student Success Coach Program. The coaches stay with students from enrollment through graduation, giving them the help they need to succeed in college and in life.

We’ll meet each of the coaches in a series of Q&A profile—Matt Fitzgerald works with students at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

  •  Where are you from?   
   I'm from Stafford and am in the process of moving to the Fredericksburg area.
Matt Fitzgerald

  • ·     Where did you go to high school and college?

     I attended Colonial Forge and Mountain View High School. I then came to Germanna and graduated with an associate’s degree in General Studies. I also transferred to the University of Mary Washington and finished there with a B.S. in Psychology.

  • ·     How long have you worked at Germanna?

    Two years.

  • ·     What do you like about working at Germanna? About being a Student Success Coach?

        I enjoy working with the other faculty and staff. Everyone is focused on the students and their success. Being a Success Coach, I am able to work with students one on one and be a part of their college experience.

  • ·     What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?

     Reaching the students. Emails and calls do not always bring responses. Most of the time I find them in class and then I set up a time to meet up later.

  • ·     What’s your advice for Germanna students?

     Read the directions and ask questions. If you are ever doubtful or unsure, you need to ask questions. College is a place and time in your life where you hold all of the control. You have the choice of being successful or not.

  • ·     For students graduating from high school and thinking about college?

    What do you want for your future? What do you need to do in the present to get there? College may or may not be in your plans, but be sure of what path will lead you to the life you want.

  • ·     For older students thinking about returning to college?

       You are an inspiration. You have lived life and are now returning to school. Having an age-diverse college is beneficial to everyone. For the younger students, this is a great way to further develop their social skills: interacting with actual adults. It is also an opportunity for those students that are older to become a mentor in the classroom.

  • ·     What misconception does the public have about community colleges and community college students?

      Community college is always considered to be “Plan B”. The last resort effort to go to school, or where everyone goes who is kicked out of their University.

·     Are you married and do you have children?
     I will be getting married this Spring, and no children at this time.

  • ·     Fun fact about you?

    I have been playing drums for 15 years and I have tattoos!

  • ·     What’s your favorite book?

    “Stuff Christians Like” – by Jon Acuff

  • ·     Your favorite movie?

     “Kill Bill” (1&2), “Star Wars” (all), “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ironman.”

  • ·     Your favorite TV show?

     “Chopped,” “Fast & Loud,” “American Pickers,” “Duck Dynasty.”

  • ·     Your favorite sport and team?

   Football, Hokies. I also like to bowl.

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