KSU working to help new freshmen succeed

One of the largest universities in the state of Georgia wants to make things a lot smaller for its new class of freshmen.

Kennesaw State University has a new team of life coaches to help the freshmen fit in.

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Kennesaw State University has more than 40,000 students, but Kayla Melgar says even in a crowd of that size a new freshman can feel all alone.

“It’s fairly easy, just because a lot of people are ‘first generation.’ They don’t know what they’re walking into,” Melgar told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

The school is trying to help them find their place. It’s a program called the Strategic Outreach and Diversity Initiatives, SODI for short.


“Kennesaw State is such a large institution now. SODI is in place to make this place a lot smaller.” SODI Director Dr. Linda Lyons said.

Lyons says they are working with five groups of incoming freshmen in particular: first-generation students, urban students from underserved communities, rural students, HOPE Scholarship recipients, and high-achievers.

A team of peer mentors are acting as life coaches to help the students succeed and help them find others on campus who are going through the same thing.

Melgar is a first-generation herself. She is now a third-year and a life coach to help the newbies.

“You do want a sense of belonging, especially if this is your first year of college. You may not know what that’s like and it’s very difficult to find your place, but we make it accessible for you to find a second home,” Melgar said.

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