Helping students succeed at Ole Miss

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

By Seth Parenteau and Jayson Kern

UM journalism students


Incoming freshmen and transfer students at Ole Miss have the option to enroll in what is known as an EDHE class, a course designed to assist them in acclimating to university life and developing effective study habits. Taught by Ole Miss “success coaches,” these classes aim to equip students with essential skills for navigating their academic journey. 

Michael Howland, a seasoned success coach at Ole Miss, said he sees the profound impact an EDHE class can have on students, particularly in terms of time management and productivity. 

“What we’re doing there is giving them the opportunity to learn those skill sets without having to come in here all the time, yet I still give them the opportunity to come in any time they want to. So once you’re a student, you’re always my student,” he said. 

Howland says he thinks these classes should be mandatory for all students at some point during their college careers, especially transfer students.

“I think that transfers should be required to take [an EDHE] class simply because it’s really easy to say, ‘Well, this is what we used to do at my old university.’ Okay, but you’re not there anymore,” Howland said. 

Thousands of freshmen take EDHE 105 each year to learn about Ole Miss history and traditions, as well as note-taking, effective writing and test-taking strategies. 

Verlecia Gavin, a student studying integrated marketing communications, attests to the value of an EDHE class. “College is the stepping stone into your professional career, so I think a class like that is a good foundation just to let you know how to handle yourself,” she said.

Howland understands why some students may be reluctant to take these classes.

“Nobody wants to look like they don’t know what they’re doing. So, it’s constantly trying to help them understand that if you’re feeling overwhelmed if you’re feeling like you need to give up, come see me because what you’re feeling is valid. We’ve all felt that.” 

EDHE 105, one of the current academic components of the First-Year Experience Program at Ole Miss, was originally introduced in 1963 in a course called Effective Study.