Five Minutes with Joey Shepherd, Academic Accommodations Coordinator

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Joey Shepherd serves as an academic accommodations coordinator at The University of Olivet, ensuring every Comet has the means to succeed. He launched his own college journey at a liberal arts school in Kentucky, studying secondary special education and history education. Later, Joey even earned a master’s degree in adult and higher education, following his ultimate goal to work with students. Whether it be in admissions, residence life or advising, Joey has shaped his career around education. Now in his current role, Joey is excited to help students find their niche at The University of Olivet.

Why do you love The University of Olivet?

The opportunity to serve as academic accommodations coordinator at The University of Olivet closely aligns with my career aspirations to serve as a professor of student success. I also really enjoy working at a liberal arts college and the other members of the Student Success Center. Most importantly, I get to work with students on a one-on-one basis. In my previous roles, I missed building relationships and supporting students on a personal level.

What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?

So far, my favorite memory is leading the first workshop hosted by the Student Success Center. This workshop focused on time management skills and more than 50 students attended the event. I hope all participants learned at least one new tip or method to improve their time management skills. Additionally, Opening Convocation and Stand-Up are very memorable. I enjoyed getting to connect with numerous students, faculty and staff.

Where do your passions for student success and working with college students stem from?

As a first generation college student from one of the poorest counties in the nation, I struggled in college. If not for several mentors and friends, I am not sure I would have been successful in higher education. I hope to always serve as a mentor to students, especially students with similar backgrounds to my own, throughout the education process. Also, I am passionate about helping others in life and hope to leave a positive mark on the world through my efforts in higher education.

What is your mentoring style like?

My mentoring style is diverse and differs depending on the situation. Usually, I try to take a cooperative or prescriptive approach to mentoring. In cooperative mentoring, I assist the student in determining the best solution. In prescriptive mentoring, I encourage the student to take the lead while still providing input and suggestions. While I am proactive in mentoring, I want the student to be in charge. Personal responsibility is an essential skill students must learn before graduating. I will assist students with their issues, but students are ultimately responsible for their decisions and the resulting outcomes.

What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

Each day is unique, but I focus on the key components of my position. Most days include proctoring exams, meeting with students with accommodations, collaborating with professors regarding students success, monitoring the testing rooms available in the Student Success Center, and developing initiatives with other members of the Student Success Center.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?

The primary reasons why students should attend OC concern culture and community. From the moment I stepped foot on campus to complete an in-person interview, I noticed the unique culture and community. Specifically, OC is inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty and staff. You can be yourself and not have to worry about being judged or ridiculed. Also, students should attend OC for the liberal arts curriculum. For students interested in becoming well-rounded and knowledgeable in several fields of study, a liberal arts curriculum is essential.

What do you look forward to in your role?

I look forward to leading additional workshops hosted by the Student Success Center, implementing initiatives currently in progress by the Student Success Center, watching current students with accommodations graduate, and teaching courses.

What advice do you share with students?

I advise students to get involved and to never be afraid to ask questions. There are numerous student organizations and activities to participate in at OC. Students should take advantage of these opportunities. Also, never be afraid to ask for clarification. I encourage students to ask questions in class, through email, before or after class, or during office hours. Faculty and staff members are more than willing to assist students with learning. However, students need to take the initiative to ask for assistance when needed.

What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?

Many years ago, I was the lead vocalist and bass guitarist for a pop-rock trio in Kentucky. I love music and own more than 400 albums.

Find your fit at The University of Olivet by visiting campus or attending an upcoming admissions event. The Student Success Center is just one of the outstanding resources available to students. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.465.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu to learn more.


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