Kelli Schneider named BGSU Rookie of the Year
Student-centered College Credit Plus programs get a boost
By Andrew Addessi
When starting a new position, most people take some time to learn the ropes and familiarize themselves. Bowling Green State University’s Rookie of the Year award is presented to individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty – within their first few years. Kelli Schneider, academic advisor for College Credit Plus Programs (CCP), is the latest in a long line of impressive winners.
When she started in the CCP Office in 2018, the program was in its fourth year. The program is designed to help high school students get a jump start, earning college credits while still in high school. While the CCP was still young, it had grown significantly since its inception, and Schneider was ready to explore further changes with the program.
"She hit the ground running," said her nominators. "Her student-centered approach has been an incredible asset to our team as we have experienced significant changes in the time she has been with BGSU."
"From the moment Kelli began her professional service at BGSU, she was committed to developing relationships and was invested in making meaningful contributions to our student success and advising community," said Andy Alt, assistant vice provost and director of advising.
“I had the opportunity to develop new initiatives that were not previously possible,” Schneider said. “My focus was to create student-centered services and look for ways we could efficiently provide assistance that is in the best interest of the students.”
She believes in providing an authentic college experience for CCP students to prepare them not only academically, but also socially. Helping students navigate campus and how they divide their time between high school and college life is just as important as the credits they are earning.
Most CCP students are younger than the average undergraduate. Dealing with these important differences is a top priority for Schneider to help them succeed both in and out of the classroom.
“Understanding and supporting these differences is important to not only help CCP students be as successful as possible, but also to help CCP students be significant contributors to the BGSU learning experience of all students,” Schneider said. “I value collaboration with offices outside my own. After all, my office is not an island and we shouldn’t be. We can best help students throughout their academic journey by working with other offices who hold the same goals.”
Managing a caseload of almost 800 students prompted Schneider and another advisor to develop an online student experience to keep students engaged, informed and connected. When COVID-19 moved the campus to a remote learning environment, the CCP community was already accustomed to an online format and the move to fully remote was seamless.
“I am always looking for ways to improve my advising practice,” Schneider said. “I hope to increase our efforts to offer additional remote outreach to students, including virtual walk-in hours, online sessions for specific high schools, special topic remote information sessions to assist with their transition to college, and informational video recordings. As many of the BGSU CCP students live more than 30 minutes away, I can see these online offerings as a potential way to increase student outreach and engagement, even after we return fully to campus.”
In addition to helping students, Schneider encourages the administrative staff to be supported as well. She helped organize an advisor retreat, where professional academic advisors and directors of advisors brainstormed different ways to best serve students. In 2019, she was the co-chair of the University Academic Support Council, which provides an open forum to discuss academic topics in various student service offices and to promote communication throughout the campus.
Looking forward, Schneider is excited to continue improving and being a productive member of the BGSU community. With undergraduate and CCP students shifting to online learning, she knows how important it is to continue revising the CCP program.
“I feel extremely fortunate to work with such a supportive team and colleagues who always look to improve our services to best assist BGSU students,” Schneider said. “It is an honor to be recognized by such an outstanding group.”