DKS makes plans to increase peer-to-peer connections

Jada Miles

The Destination Kent State New Student Orientation Program plans to increase the amount of FlashGuides this year to enhance peer-to-peer connections with new students.

In the past, the program only hired 24 students, but now they will hire 40 students for this year’s program.

“With one FlashGuide to every 20 students, it’s difficult to make those personal connections,” said Joshua Perkins, the associate director of student success programs. “Our goal is to make that ratio more manageable, so our FlashGuides have more opportunity to connect.”

The DKS program is an overnight experience that incoming freshman participate in before the fall semester begins.

“We focus on helping students and their parents to complete any tasks that they need to complete prior to starting college,” said Yvonna Washington-Greer, the director of student success programs. “We also want to begin to develop a connection with the new students to the college.”

Surveys from parents and students after completing DKS always show how valuable the FlashGuides are, according to Washington-Greer.

“We have all this data that talks about how well they work, how well they do and how valuable they are. Why don’t we hire more?” said Washington-Greer. “That way, that same experience can trickle down a little more.”

The increase of FlashGuides was made in order to increase connections between FlashGuides and new students.

“That power of the peer to peer connection, and the utilization of peers to assist other students — it helps,” said Washington-Greer.

SSP also hopes to increase diversity within the program in many different aspects.

Sophomore communications studies major Jhariah Wadkins said that it sometimes was hard being one of the few students of color as a FlashGuide last summer.

“By increasing our number of FlashGuides to 40, we increase our ability to hire more diverse candidates,” said Perkins. “And I mean diversity in a very large complex way, socioeconomic status, first gen, out-of-state.”

SSP is continuing to add student leaders to its other groups as well.

“We want our students to feel like they belong here,” said Perkins.

Jada Mila is the student affairs reporter. Contact her at [email protected].