Q&A: Jeff Elwood

Jeff Elwood

Jeff Elwood

Andrew Franklin

Jeff Elwood, a Student Support Services coordinator for Crowder College, is passionate about his job, and sees it as one of the utmost importance. Elwood tells all about his job, his family, and the importance of the Student Support Services program in this interview.

What is your official job title?

I am an academic advisor for student support services.

What tasks come with your position at Crowder?

Advisement, enrollment, present workshops, I do a lot of stuff. I listen to students when they have questions. I’m the guy they come to when they don’t know the answers. I’m the guy that finds the answers. I’m in charge of college visits the 175 students in SSS. I’m in charge of a scholarship page. I talk to students about financial aid. We’re kind of like a one stop shop for our students. Whatever they need, I try to come up with the correct solution to solve the problem. Sometimes I just listen. Sometimes I give advice.

What do you think your coworkers would say about you, if I asked them?

I would think that they would say that I’m funny, and they really enjoy working with me- no I’m serious. Because we have a really good work dynamic, because we all thee bring something different to the table. That’s the nice thing is that since we all bring something different, we work so well together. They have areas they excel in which I do not, and I can go to them for advice or answers. They’re a great resource.

How does your family feel about your job?

They understand that it’s something I’m passionate about. Sometimes my job has to come first, and they get that, because they know that I care about the students at Student Support Services and Crowder. Because my wife is a teacher, she gets that.

Would you tell a little bit about your family?

My wife has been teaching elementary school for 16 years. She finished her last semester of college when we got married. My daughter is fourth grader, and my son is in pre-school.

What do you like to do when you’re all together?

We have a farm, so we raise cattle. We go do fun stuff. Try to go on vacation once a year. We work hard but we play hard. The kids have four wheelers. I’m an avid deer hunter. My wife won’t eat deer, but my kids will. I think our favorite vacation spot is the beach in Florida. Destin, Pensacola. We’ve been all over that area.

Why, in your opinion, is this program important?

I think this program is important because we get to know our students very well. We take the time to listen to them. I think that we are here to make sure that they’re successful, and offer them a wide variety of tools to make that happen. And it’s no cost to the students. We build relationships with our students. They know they can come and talk to us.

What is the biggest challenge facing the program right now?

I think not being able to serve more students. 175 is a lot, but there are so many more students that can use this.

How can anyone that reads this go about bringing change with this issue?

Just letting your government officials know how important programs like this are to students, and how beneficial they are. Let your governors know, your senators, representatives. These programs are very well run, and have been here for so many years. We serve first generation college students. Being one myself, that’s important to me.

In closing, do you have anything you’d like to say to anyone who may be reading this about the Student Support Services program?

I just want students to know, especially Student Support Services students, or any Crowder student, that this is a wonderful place to work, and a wonderful place for students to get your education. We all really care about the students. You won’t get that everywhere. I’ve been to students that you’re just a number. I’m very fortunate to have a job that I love coming to every day. Not a lot of people have that. The way I see it is that I work for the students. My job is to guide them and for them to transfer on somewhere.