Leslie Rios '20

St. Edward’s has expanded the support students receive from day one. Success coaches and personalized roadmaps are guiding them through their academic experience and into their career.  

Graduating senior Leslie Rios ’20 is a standout — a top-notch student who has found research opportunities, extracurricular activities, and mentors who helped her succeed. St. Edward’s is now providing more focused support in exactly those areas. We’re making it even easier for students to receive our hallmark personalized education and outside-the-classroom experiences that prepare them for high-impact careers. Here’s what this next-level support looks like.

Leslie’s Experience

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Leslie arrived at St. Edward’s interested in politics and pursued a range of Political Science classes to find the ones that inspired her, including Comparative Politics, The American Court System and Political Theory.

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Leslie didn’t want to miss a thing, so she immediately joined an array of student organizations. Eventually, she found two that were a perfect fit: student government and the Latino Student Leaders Organization. While she loves where she ended up, she admits that having a mentor early on could have prevented her from stretching herself too thin.

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Leslie started taking courses with Assistant Professor of Political Science David Thomason her first semester at St. Edward’s. They built a strong working relationship, and she ultimately joined him for a major research project on border policy.

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Leslie is driven to excel, and she has pushed herself to take on new pursuits that build on her previous experiences. As part of a recent service break trip to Peru, she ditched her technology and spent time reflecting on her years at St. Edward’s and considering where life might take her next.

The Next-Level Experience

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Students have access to concise, two-page guides for each major. These roadmaps help students understand what options are available from day one — and the step-by-step paths that they can take to get where they want to go.

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All first-year students are assigned a success coach who assists with their transition to college and helps them to get engaged in student organizations, their residence hall and the broader community. Success coaches collaborate with students to develop personalized plans to create a college experience that’s as unique as the student.

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Success coaches receive specific training and collaborate with faculty members to help students get research and internship opportunities that build from semester to semester. All students graduate with experiences that prepare them to reach their career goals.

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Every semester, success coaches work closely with their students to reflect on their classroom learning, extracurriculars, research and internships. Coaches help students make connections between classroom learning and outside projects and help them choose their best next steps.

Illustrations by Kati Lacker

Explore more of this 4-part series about the St. Edward’s experience.


Educating Hearts and Minds

5 Hilltoppers Reflect on the Enduring Spirit of the St. Edward’s Mission


Giving Students an Edge

How St. Edward’s Prepares Students to Succeed in College and Beyond


“I Think You Can Do This.”

Mentorship and Personal Connections Make a Difference


Support Every Step of the Way

Success Coaches and Roadmaps Help Students Create and Achieve Their Goals