Student Academic Support Services (SASS)

Pilgrim Library

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The primary objective of Student Academic Support Services (SASS)  is to work together with undergraduate students in becoming efficient, independent learners. The SASS components of First Year Program, Learning Commons Services, Retention Efforts, Advising Assistance, Connections Program, and Bridge Program are designed to engage students in developing effective learning 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 first year students to be successful college learners and campus leaders.  The goal of the first year program is simply to assist students in making a successful academic transition to college. To accomplish this goal, the First Year Program consists of three components:  

Learning Commons — supports the educational mission of Defiance College by providing 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: 

Academic Retention Efforts - encompasses programs like our early-alert system and academic monitoring program. The early-alert system is designed to identify and assist at-risk students through collecting academic information reported by faculty regarding students’ attendance, academic performance concerns, and 4-week, midterm, and 12-week progress reports. Our Academic Monitoring Program is a self-identifying platform for first year students to receive additional support as they transition from high school to college.

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 tools and strategies to help a student discover the major that is right for them. 

Connections Program— is designed to assist first-generation DC students in effectively transitioning to college and proudly stating, “I am first!” Connections provides programming to address the needs of students who are the first in their family to attend a college. Our goal is to develop a sense of community among DC’s first-generation students and to support the academic success of these students through programming, including social gatherings, mentoring, and workshops.

Bridge Program— is a conditional admission program to Defiance College for student’s whose academic performance was inconsistent in high school and does not meet the requisite high school cumulative GPA or a minimum ACT score for admissions. Bridge starts with an intensive two-week residential summer program that enables students to become acclimated to campus life, gain access to student support services, and most importantly learn effective academic success strategies prior to the first day of class. Once classes begin, Bridge participants will continue to receive academic advising and be required to continue fulfilling their Contract for Success.




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

Jessica Miller, Retention and Student Support Coordinator
419-785-2874 |

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