Student Academic Support Services - Defiance College

Student Academic Support Services (SASS)

Pilgrim Library

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Student Academic Support Services

The primary objective of Student Academic Support Services (SASS) is to provide undergraduate students at Defiance College with resources and opportunities to improve their ability to learn and to achieve academic success. The SASS components of  First Year Program, Learning Commons Services, Conditional Advising Program, Success@DC, and Academic Advising Assistance engage students in developing effective strategies and skills for a successful transition to college and for academic success throughout their college career and beyond. By focusing on the needs of first-year students and offering academic support for all learners, SASS strives to increase the retention and graduation rate of students enrolled at Defiance College.



First-Year Program — strives to support and empower Defiance College’s students to be successful college learners and engaged campus leaders. One of the main goals of the First-Year Program is to prepare and orient incoming first-year students to the academic and social realities of the Defiance College campus. Towards accomplishing this goal, SASS unites Academic Affairs and Student Life for a holistic approach to assisting all first-year students in the transition to college. Through SASS, the First-Year Program provides three main components:

  1. CORE 100 (College Engagement Seminar) Course assists students in the fall of their first year to make a successful transition to campus. This course focuses on exercising academic skills, fostering social competencies, and understanding and accepting diversity as a foundation for developing the student’s engagement in the campus community and the world.

  2. First-Year Peer Leaders mentor first-year students and provide an immediate support network for students entering into college for the first time. Peer mentors build relationships with first-year students in order to help them better transition into college life, academically and socially. The goal is that first-year students have an enhanced experience, and are better able to achieve their full potential.

  3. Success Workshops offer students the opportunity to learn more about strategies for making their first year of college a success. Offered throughout the year, these workshops cover various topics related to student success.

Learning Commons — provides academic services to assist the college’s students. Learning is an ongoing process, and the focus of Learning Commons services is to helps students develop skills and strategies for overall college success. The Learning Commons provides the following Academic Support Services: 

Conditional Advising Program — is a required program for incoming students who do not meet the minimum admissions requirements but show potential for success. Conditional admittance requires that students successfully complete the advising program through SASS the first semester on campus. Conditional students sign a contract that outlines all program requirements and obligations. Through this program, the SASS office provides weekly advising for conditional students to improve academic skills and gain access to support services as they acclimate to college life.

Success@DC – is an early-alert system that collects information reported by faculty and staff regarding students’ attendance, academic performance, campus behaviors, and other concerns. The SASS staff and Student Life oversee this system to assist students of concern by providing the necessary advising and navigating student concerns to the appropriate support services on campus.

Advising Undeclared Students — is a service to support those students who may be struggling to identify a major for their college studies. We provide assistance with scheduling as well as advising and exploration tools and strategies in close coordination with the Career Development Office to help a student discover the major that is right for them.




Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Director of Student Academic Support Services
419-783-2332 |

Laura Matyas, Administrative Assistant for SASS
419-783-2558 |

Brandon Ripke, Academic Support Coordinator
419-785-2874 |