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Student Transition

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Big Blue leads the football team onto the field. Photo Chuck Thomas/ODU

University 100 - Mane Course

University 100: Mane Course is a one-credit course designed to support first-year students through their transition to Old Dominion University. Through self-exploration, introduction to campus resources, academic/study skill development, and major/career exploration, students will build a strong foundation for a successful and great ODU experience. This interactive, engaging course offers a smaller class size allowing students to build connections with peers, their instructor, and campus. With Mane Course, it is time to Create Your Plate!


Meet the Mane Course Instructors

Erin Colwell

Course Time: Tuesday 3:00-4:15PM

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Learn about Erin!

What will students get out of the course (i.e. benefits)?

Students will learn about resources and strategies to help them make a successful transition to college. It will also provide a great opportunity to meet other first year students and develop relationships with students who are all also learning how to navigate their first semester on campus.

How would you describe your teaching/coaching style?

I come from a counseling background, so I approach working with my students in a collaborative way. We will work together to set goals and create a plan for you to reach them. I always tell my students that you are the expert in your own life, so I will not be telling you what to do but I'm here to provide any assistance and guidance that you may need.

Tell us about your favorite ODU hidden gem.

The orchid conservatory! It's a great place to step into during the winter to pretend you are on a tropical island without leaving campus.

What are the TOP 3 things you want students to know when transitioning to ODU?

  1. Never ever be afraid to ask questions; it's the only way that you will learn.
  2. Check your ODU email every day
  3. Read your syllabus; it will contain all the information that you need to successfully complete the course.

Is there are particular class topic you are looking forward to teaching most?

I always enjoy teaching about major and career exploration because that is when every student gets to spend time reflecting on what they want to get out of college and start working towards their goals.


Jessica Mcgee

Course Time: Wednesday 2:00-2:50PM

Jessica Mcgee

Learn about Jessica!

What will students get out of the course (i.e. benefits)?

Students will learn important knowledge for a smooth transition to ODU. We will cover a variety of topics relevant to first-year student success. Learning about different resources that are available to them as students while navigating their first year.

How would you describe your teaching/coaching style?

I love getting to know my students and my classroom will have open discussions about relevant topics. I love to see how every student has a unique view and what they will bring to our discussion. I love getting creative and finding ways to add fun to the learning experience.

Tell us about your favorite ODU hidden gem.

My favorite ODU hidden gem is the upper-level floors in the Perry Library. There are rooms you can reserve for private study, group projects, and relaxing.

What are the TOP 3 things you want students to know when transitioning to ODU?

  1. Attend professor office hours.
  2. Read each of your syllabi during the first week of classes and add dates to your calendar.
  3. Never be afraid to ask questions.

Is there are a particular class topic you are looking forward to teaching most?

I love talking to students about study skills. There are many different approaches to learning and retaining information. Finding the best study methods for you can help increase grades.


Allison Mcgee

Course Time: Thursday 3:00-4:15PM

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Learn about Allison!

What will students get out of the course (i.e. benefits)?

Students will be able to feel a sense of empowerment, in themselves to be able to tackle the unique challenges of college along with a strong sense of comradery among other monarchs that they will be able to meet in their class. Not to mention getting to know ODU at such a deep level that many students don't get the opportunity to do!

How would you describe your teaching/coaching style?

I am a very intentional, honest and relatable coach/instructor. While I am informal at times, I also work hard to best meet each student where they're at and help them create their own unique college experience.

Tell us about your favorite ODU hidden gem.

The turtle/duck house in the pond near BAL and the new Starbucks in the Chartway Arena

What are the TOP 3 things you want students to know when transitioning to ODU?

  1. ASK QUESTIONS!
  2. BE SMART!
  3. HAVE FUN!

Is there are particular class topic you are looking forward to teaching most?

I'm really excited to talk with my students about college engagement and how they want to develop their own definition of their college engagement/college experience outside of the classroom.



Kim Oakes

Course Time: Wednesday 10:00-10:50AM

koake002-kimberly-oakes

Learn about Kim!

What will students get out of the course (i.e. benefits)?

Students will gain a sense of community with their classmates as well as key knowledge for a smooth transition to ODU. We will cover a variety of topics relevant to first year student success.

How would you describe your teaching/coaching style?

Teaching and coaching are similar for me. I consider both to be more of a partnership and dialogue, than a lecture. I look forward to many group discussions as well as individual coaching sessions!

Tell us about your favorite ODU hidden gem.

I have always loved the University Village. There are a lot of good restaurants in that area of campus! There is also a small, less crowded gym in the Village. The Village is a great place to go before a basketball game at the Ted.

What are the TOP 3 things you want students to know when transitioning to ODU?

  1. Make connections! The transition from high school to college can be overwhelming at times. Building a sense of community may take some time but is super important to overall student success.
  2. Use resources and ask questions! We have so many faculty and staff dedicated to student success on our campus. We are passionate about helping students reach their goals, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
  3. Your first year is about figuring out what works best for YOU! Mane Connect coaches are here to help you get the most out of your college experience, and help you define what success looks like for you as an individual. No student experience is exactly the same, and that is okay!

Is there are particular class topic you are looking forward to teaching most?

I enjoy teaching time management and balancing commitments. I was a student-athlete as an undergraduate, so that experience helped me to refine my time management skills. I love sharing strategies with freshmen students!


Scott Thomas

Course Time: Monday 4:00-4:50PM

Scott Thomas

Learn about Scott!

What will students get out of the course (i.e. benefits)?

Students will learn the skills needed to have a successful transition from high school into college. Learn all about what it means to be an ODU student, by learning about different resources that are available to them as students. Along with learning critical thinking skills that they can take with them for the rest of their time at ODU and beyond.

How would you describe your teaching/coaching style?

My teaching/coaching style is a student centered approach. I like to get to know students on an individual level inside of the coaching meetings, to best assist them as a student. While in the classroom having open discussions about relevant topics. Every student has a unique background and views and will bring

Tell us about your favorite ODU hidden gem.

My favorite ODU hidden gem are the sunsets that you can see on the Elizabeth River. You can see them from Whitehurst Beach, or my personal favorite of on a Saturday night in the fall, while watching a football game in S.B. Ballard Stadium

What are the TOP 3 things you want students to know when transitioning to ODU?

  1. Always ask questions! There is no such thing as a dumb question, college is a lot different than high school and you aren't going to know everything day 1.
  2. Check your ODU email every day! This is the main point of communication and its important to stay on top of them.
  3. Do something that makes you uncomfortable! It helps you grow as a student and a person

Is there are particular class topic you are looking forward to teaching most?

I am looking forward to teaching about major exploration. I enjoy talking with students about their future goals, and finding a major that will work best with what they want in life. Seeing the lightbulbs turn on and students get excited about their studies is a great feeling.