A student and a Student Success Center worker review school work.

Here to Help: Counselors and Coaches Pave the Way to Success

Featured photo: A Blue Ridge Community College student discusses schoolwork with a tutor in the Student Success Center (Photo by Rich Keen Marketing and Communications Dept.).

Emily Gill
Marketing and Communications Dept.

A student’s journey through higher education is full of unknowns, but the path to success is made easier with a guide – or several! Blue Ridge Community College provides multiple avenues for assistance to all students from academic excellence to personal challenges. Each counselor and coach serves a different purpose in the college.

Every student is assigned a counselor or success coach and an academic advisor; by logging into Watermark, students can see their assigned guides.


Luke Rose, Director of Admissions and Transfer, is one of three Student Services Counselors on staff. 

Each of the counselors serves approximately 400 students. These Student Services counselors connect students with academic resources, help them with their school performance, and assist with personal issues that may be hindering their abilities. 

Rose describes the job as walking alongside students to ensure their success at Blue Ridge.

“We try to remove any barriers to success,” Rose said. “We want to ensure success for each student at Blue Ridge, and each student has their own set of challenges to overcome.”

Rose and other counselors use online scheduling platform Calend.ly to book meetings; walk-in meetings are also available.

As a transfer coordinator, Rose serves internally to help students clarify their four-year-level goals and create transfer plans. Externally, he is the liaison for four-year institutions and partners with them to create articulation agreements, put together transfer fairs, and foster connections between Blue Ridge students and these schools. There will be a transfer fair on April 19 featuring over 30 colleges and universities!

After a student’s first semester at Blue Ridge, all course registration is through an academic advisor. These academic advisors are faculty in the student’s major.

Success Coaches

Success Coaches, who serve adult learners ages 25 and older, focus solely on what each individual student needs to be successful in their time at Blue Ridge. 

“Our main job is to help students connect with needed resources across the campus,” said success coach Crystal Bradshaw. “We figure out what barriers they may have to face to complete their degree and then we come up with different solutions on how to overcome those barriers.”

Amanda Hull, another success coach, said they serve as a conduit to connect students with resources available to them not only on campus but also in the community. 

“We connect students with different community resources or community partners, so if a student is in a crisis or experiencing food or housing insecurity, we can help with that as well,” Hull said.

Career Coaches

At Blue Ridge, career coaches serve the high school population who either are currently taking college courses at Blue Ridge or are interested in doing so.  They also work with students to help create post-secondary plans for any school, including Blue Ridge.

Will King, the career coach for the Transylvania County Campus, said he spends much of his time in the local high schools. 

“I advise students about college classes they can take in high school,” said King. “We discuss college options and their plans after high school.” 

Henderson County Campus career coaches also connect high school students to opportunities at Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge has created an intentional support structure to help students of any age with any barrier to their success. Students are encouraged to login to Watermark and find their assigned counselor or success coach. Additionally, the One Stop is always available to answer any questions and help make connections; call (828) 694-1800 or (828) 883-2520.