South Campus hires new student support director

Trey Crumbie

Efforts to keep students enrolled at WKU aren’t just limited to the main campus. South Campus has entered the fray as well.

Carlous Yates, director of Student Support Programs, will supervise four major programs on WKU’s South Campus that aim to help students keep on the track to graduation. The programs, Cornerstone, the South Campus Living Learning Community, Summer Early Entry and University Experience, all serve as retention services. 

Yates, who started his job on Nov. 25 of last year, said these programs will help students understand what it means to be a student at WKU and will build the foundation for them to graduate.

Originally from Metcalfe County,  Yates said he joined WKU because of the job description, but also because it allowed him to be closer to home. 

“It gave me the opportunity to still work with the population of students that I pride myself on being able to assist,” Yates said. 

Kim Parris, supervisor for the Cornerstone program on South Campus, assists Yates in his position. Parris said Yates has made a lot of progress in the past couple of months.

“He has made leaps and bounds with the students, and with the faculty and staff here,” Parris said. “I love working with Carlous. Carlous is almost like a breath of fresh air.”

Tim Brotherton, head of Academic Support, said the department utilizes multiple methods like peer tutoring and regular contact to retain students. he department continues to look at new ways to retain students despite the limited amount of time and money to invest.

“It’s an ongoing effort,” Brotherton said. “It certainly is challenging.”

Brotherton said the programs Yates are in charge of used to be standalone, but are now condensed into one area. 

“We’re very excited about the reorganization that we have now where we put all the student support stuff together,” Brotherton said.

Lexington senior Morgan Gunn, a peer mentor at South Campus, said she collaborates with Parris and Yates to help students on South Campus. Gunn said Yates’ arrival was very timely. 

“I think Carlous came just in time,” Gunn said. “Because I think things were probably heading a little bit south here and we need to build our numbers back up and keep our kids doing good. Because it’s about retention and we want to make sure our students are successful and give them a chance. And that’s what we’re here for.”

Yates, a first-generation college graduate, said he is sympathetic to some of the students’ needs and wants to support students as much as he can.

“My office is always open,” Yates said. “And students are always welcome to come.”

Yates said helping making a positive impact on student lives makes him elated.

“…At the end of the day, when you’re able to see where someone starts off and then where they finish, that’s rewarding,” Yates said.