By Hanna House
1st Class is probably one of the most complained about topic within the freshman circles. If you don’t know, 1st Class offers many services to all students like tutors and a quiet place to study or do homework. The reason a lot of freshman complain about it is because freshman athletes have to have five documented hours of time spent there a week to be able to play their sport.
Student Services has hired Steve Kramer to be the new assistant director of advising and student success. Kramer will serve as a mentor of sorts to those who are undecided on their majors and will work closely with students who are on probation-meeting with them at least once a week.
A native of California, Kramer came to Kansas and took a job working in counseling at Fort Scott Community College gaining experience that Bobi Erdman, associate academic vice president for advising and student success as well as Kramer’s boss, and the hiring committee at Southwestern saw as very valuable and set him ahead of other candidates.
The search to fill what is now Kramer’s position was lengthy before finding the right fit for the job. During that time, Erdman was taking on more responsibilities and is going to be benefited greatly by having this position filled.
Erdman states that there were many applicants for the job but none of them seemed to be the right person for the job until Kramer.
Erdman and Kramer are working to not only focus on freshman but to also extend their services to include upper classman especially sophomores.
“We have a committee inline to work with sophomores who are experiencing a sophomore slump. What we can do to help keep those students in school,” said Erdman.
Along with working with people with undecided majors and on probation, Kramer also coordinates first class and the Quantitative Literacy Center or QLC.
“We are working to get the math and the writing down here together, collaborating,” said Michelle VanGieson, accounting junior and 1st Class tutor.
Kramer also works closely with athletic teams to figure out the best method of study hall for each team. He says he wants to make sure everyone has a quiet place to work by themselves.
“I am actually steering away from the group sort of studies or the group study tables and more focused on individual places where people can study,” says Kramer.
Some of the items of high priority on Kramer’s agenda are making sure there is an environment furnished for individual work and to help students acquire better time management skills.
“He is also working on trying to do different planning things such as planning out what (students) have due if they have a big project,” said VanGieson. “He is wanting to be more hands on. He comes in here and talks to students and we report back to him what we think they need help with.”
If a student is on probation, they owe Kramer two hours of time in 1st Class. Kramer would rather have students come in sometime during the day instead of the evening. This is part of his plan to help students better manage their time.
One of the biggest complaints among freshman athletes is that they don’t have enough homework to fill up five hours of their time every week.
Kramer says in response, “I would say to them if they are required to do five hours and they don’t have anything to do academically, life is precious, don’t waste your time. What I am saying is, there are so many other big things you could do with your time down here.”
Some of the things Kramer suggests doing includes looking for internships, look at jobs, figure out what you want to study and what kind of degree your dream job entails.
Most people change their majors at least once in their college career. Kramer himself received his bachelor’s degree in radio and television but later realized that his master’s degree in counseling was the better fit for him.
1st Class employs many tutors ready to help people struggling in their classes. The tutors are students that excel in their specific fields and there are students from every major field.
Hanna House is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.