New programs help students ‘leap’ into college life

Conveniently located in a single suite of the University Center are the tools that students can use to succeed in their college careers.

NKU’s University Connect and Persist (UCAP) and the Student Achievement Center (SAC) are offering services that help students with various and unique needs that follow suit to President Obama’s proposed agenda for student success.

Whether it is graduating, student loans or the job market, NKU provides on-campus programs that target such issues that universities are facing nationwide.

“Our institutions goal is to provide assistance and life skills,” said Susan Mospens, the director of SAC. “We want students to feel prepared for any foreseeable challenges that they might face.”

SAC offers three distinct programs that tackle specific problems confronting students. These programs are Student Support Services, Learning Experience and Parenting (LEAP) and Financial Fitness.

Of these three programs, Financial Fitness is the only one that is open to every student.

Financial Fitness is a fairly new program that aims to help students with numerous finance related situations. This includes budget management, loan advice and finding and applying for scholarships.

According to Andy Espelage, Financial Fitness specialist, the program is an underrated service that could assist all students with numerous financial problems that they might have.

“Not a lot of students take advantage of Financial Fitness, and they often come when it is too late,” said Espelage. “It is really frustrating for me because I want to help.”

LEAP, as the name indicates, is a service that helps students who are also parents. In order to participate students must be a Kentucky resident and receive Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program funds. Knowledge on how to effectively juggle being a parent, student and an employee are given to those who are accepted to the program.

The last program that SAC offers is Social Support Services. It provides resources to first-generation college students who are from low-income families. These students are eligible to receive career and major counseling, super priority registration, specialized courses and more.

UCAP, which is offered to all students, can be found in UC 120 along with SAC. This program provides services such as MAP-Works, Lending Library, SGA Retention Award, financial consultation and networking opportunities.

Peg Adams, director of UCAP, emphasizes the importance of networking to all students who wish to succeed.

“We want students to have a network before they have any problems. That is why we stress the need for them to start networking now,” said Adams.

According to Mospens, student success relies on the student and their ability to be proactive and seek out help if needed.

“Student success is about students having access,” explained Mospens. “They need to set goals and achieve them by developing a plan and gaining skills. Ultimately, we would love to see all of out students graduate but as long as we prepare them to make transitions in their life I consider that a success.”

For additional information about SAC and UCAP visit them in suite 120 in the University Center or go to their webpages at and