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Getting to know Tom Casey

Oregon State Ecampus student success counselor

Tom Casey, Ecampus student success counselor, stands outside the OSU Valley Library wearing an orange quarter-zip sweater.

With two Oregon State degrees on his résumé, Tom Casey knows how to succeed in the college environment. Now he helps OSU’s online learners achieve their own academic milestones as an Ecampus student success counselor.

By Tyler Hansen
June 23, 2016

Tom Casey is new to the Ecampus staff and works as a student success counselor. In this role, he provides one-on-one guidance to online learners and helps them navigate and access Oregon State resources from a distance in order to support their academic success. He also offers helpful tips on the Ecampus student success blog. Tom earned a pair of degrees from Oregon State — a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in college student services administration.


Hometown

Corvallis, Oregon

How long have you worked at Oregon State?

4 months

What excited you about the opportunity to work for OSU Ecampus?

“It was an opportunity for me to continue to engage with students to create a plan for success and to be a part of a nationally recognized program. It is also gratifying to know that while being a part of Ecampus you are changing the lives of individuals that can last for generations.

“As a success counselor you are either engaged with students to create positive change in their lives or working on developing programs and services that lead to student success. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

What do you like most about being a student success counselor?

“Being engaged with students to assist them in finding successful solutions to the variety of issues they are faced with as online learners. The reward comes in seeing them overcome the barriers that were impeding their success.”

Students also work with an academic advisor. Why is it important for Ecampus learners to have the extra layer of support that you and your co-workers provide?

“Being an online learner can be a daunting challenge, especially for those with little to no previous online learning experience. On top of that you add life, work and family commitments, and the entire experience can be overwhelming. We provide the needed extra layer of support as students try to balance it all and make it work.”

What do you wish others knew about your job?

“That we are here! Don’t hesitate to utilize this service.”

“When students find themselves struggling, the first thing they should do is reach out and take advantage of the many resources that are available to them as an Ecampus student.”

Why did you decide to get into this field?

“I would say my passion within this field is a direct reflection of my collegiate student experience. I definitely could have benefited from a stronger advising/counseling presence, especially as a first-generation college student. Upon completing my undergrad degree here at OSU, I enrolled in the College Student Services Administration program. It was my intent to stay at OSU and work with students as an academic advisor.

“As in many cases my professional life took off in a different, yet related, path. I am excited to be back and finally completing what I initially set out to do 20-plus years ago.”

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to Ecampus students?

“The first thing to do when you have dug yourself in a hole is to quit digging! I feel when many students find themselves in a hole they think they can dig their own way out, which often leads to compounding the initial problem and can create additional problems.

“When students find themselves struggling, the first thing they should do is reach out and take advantage of the many resources that are available to them as an Ecampus student. We can either give them the tools to be successful or provide a contact that may be better solution.”

Tell us something surprising thing about you that people don’t know.

“I have spent the last 20-plus years coaching college football. I have coached at the NCAA Division I, II, III and junior college levels that spans eight different colleges and universities. My first college coaching job was here at Oregon State. Go Beavs!”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Travel
  • Play golf

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