MAPS helps students adjust to college

Corey Trader

The College of Business offers a program to help students adjust and readjust to college through Mentors Aiding in Peer Success (MAPS). The program helps students face the challenges many face in college.

When Tim Fredd – a current MAPS mentor – came back to school, he was determined to not fall into the trend of people who come back to school only to give up again.

“For a lot of people,” Fredd said, “if you’ve already dropped out, failed or given up once, doing it the second time is twice as easy and then it just gets easier and easier.”

Fredd took two years off, working in factories while trying to decide what to do for a career. When he returned to school, he was contacted by the MAPS program to help him readjust to college life.

“I actually avoided it the first week,” Fredd said. “Then the guy actually texted me and said ‘Hey, Tim it’s been two weeks and you still haven’t reached out yet, we should do this meeting. I think it would be beneficial to you.’”

Fredd decided to go to the meeting and quickly realized the program would help him get involved.

“It’s like having a cheat code or a playbook for college,” Fredd said. “I am essentially telling all these kids the thing I wish I would have done to make college easier.”

MAPS started three years ago by the College of Business with the goal to partner students with a mentor in order to help make the transition to college easier. The program has monthly events to provide students with tools such as budgeting skills, time management skills and goal setting skills. The events are run by the student mentors who volunteer to help their fellow students be successful.

College of Business Academic Advisor Kristina Spangler is the MAPS coordinator. She is in charge of the mentor selection and organizing all the events.

“I like mentors with all different personalities,” Spangler said. “Mentees all have different personalities.”

MAPS has 12 mentors who receive training to help lead students to success and handle situations that may occur during their time at Kent State.

“The goal is to get you matched up with the person who is most likely to help you,” Fredd said. “The advice has to come from someone that you will respond to or otherwise you won’t want to hear it.” The program helps surround students with people to aid them in their own success.

The curriculum taught by MAPS through their workshops is geared around setting students up for success, not just in college but beyond graduation as well.

“For any students who are confused about something, are having trouble with anxiety, just need help, or have questions, just reach out,” Spangler said. “That’s why we are all here. We want to see students be successful, and we understand the challenges that come with it.”

All mentors have office hours in Prentice Hall to help serve the Business Learning Community housed there.

Mentors also meet on their own time on campus.

Corey Trader is the environment and college of business reporter. Contact him at [email protected].