Student Academic Support Services (SASS)

Pilgrim Library

Facebook  Twitter


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 Learning Commons Services, College Engagement Program, Conditional Admittance Advising Program, Success@DC, and 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.



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:

College Engagement Program— strives to support and empower all of Defiance College’s students to be successful college learners and campus leaders. One of the main goals of the College Engagement program is to prepare and orient incoming first-year students to the academic and social realities of the Defiance College campus. To accomplish this goal, the College Engagement program provides three components for first-year students:

  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 community and the world.
  2. 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 academic topics like metacognition and study skill development as well as college survival topics like dealing with homesickness.

Conditional Admittance Advising Program— is 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 oversees this system to assist students of concern by providing the necessary advising and navigating students to the appropriate support resources.

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.




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 |