OSU Connection Navigators program

To: OSU Faculty and Staff

From: Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Coronavirus Response Coordinator

October 7, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The college experience for students is certainly different right now. Many students are beginning their time at Oregon State University at home this year, instead of with us on campus. In a recent survey of students new to OSU, we found that some are struggling to find the help they need and are yearning to feel connected to campus.

We are starting a new, short term program called OSU Connection Navigators.  This program is to help supplement existing care points for students new to OSU and OSU Cascades. Through a check-in phone call 2-3 times a term, we aim to get a sense of what students are experiencing; connect them to resources when appropriate; identify issues needing to be addressed; and show our support. 

I am hoping you will join me in becoming a Connection Navigator.

We anticipate the time commitment will be minimal, however, it will depend on how many students you think you can assist and students’ engagement in this program. We are asking that Navigators take on about 5 to 10 students. Some students will opt-out simply by not answering the phone, and that is okay. Our mission is to express care and provide support, and that can be done on voice mail as well.  

As a Connection Navigator, you will receive training and resources, suggested talking points, and an optional script for you to use. You will be provided a short form to fill out for each student interaction so students' engagement and overall satisfaction with their OSU experience can be tracked. It will not be necessary to use a personal phone number to serve as a Connection Navigator.

This program is designed to support students who do not otherwise have support through programs such as EOP, TRIO, CAMP, and Beaver Connect, as well as student-athletes.

We are hoping to connect with students as early as next week. If you have an interest in participating, please speak with your supervisor to ensure your current workload allows for this additional work-time commitment. Then, please sign up if you would like to support students as a Connection Navigator.

More information will be available soon online. In the meantime, please follow up with Gabs James should you have any questions. 

Thank you,

Dan Larson
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Coronavirus Response Coordinator