Chris Knox

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
   
Oklahoma Mentor Day

Chris Knox

Critical Learning in Community Knowledge (CLICK), Rose State College, Midwest City

Chris Knox dedicates her life to helping students succeed in college. In addition to her full-time position as Reading Program coordinator at Rose State College, she has headed Rose State’s Community Learning In Critical Knowledge (CLICK) Program for over 10 years. As coordinator of the award-winning mentoring program, she ensures that students who are under-resourced in a wide variety of areas are paired with faculty mentors who are genuinely dedicated to helping them succeed.

“Chris believes in the potential of each and every student, and – more importantly – she translates that belief into action,” said Antoinette Castillo, Humanities dean and co-founder of CLICK. “She is famous among our faculty for never resting with a set approach to helping students, and so is always innovating and consistently working nights and weekends on campus. Moreover, every single student matters to her: she emails, texts and does whatever is needed to ensure students do not fall between the institutional cracks.”

When Knox first became a full-time professor at Rose State, there was little coordination between developmental faculty in different departments. She volunteered to take over the rudimentary learning community program for developmental students. Through her leadership, the program has grown to involve 14 volunteer professors and two advisors. It provides students who take developmental courses from all disciplines with the opportunity to network, share, and support one another while also receiving one-on-one tutoring and guidance from faculty mentors.

“Chris, herself, is the strongest and most dedicated of those mentors,” Castillo said. “Community college students often have complicated lives in which they must balance school with full-time work, family care-giving obligations, financial challenges, and many other demands. Chris is famous on campus for her ability to help students learn how to be organized under these trying conditions.

“Any student having problems in the Humanities Division is usually referred to her, so she can sit down one-on-one with that student and help create a "folder" that organizes all the student's classes, work obligations, time-tables for studying, and so much more,” Castillo added. “Often, we see students semesters later who are still using Chris's folder and time-management method.”

Castillo can cite dozens of examples of students who were told they “didn’t have what it took to succeed in college,” but after meeting Professor Knox and participating in the CLICK program those same students walked across the stage a few years later to receive their diploma.

In addition to developing the CLICK Program, Professor Knox teamed up with a colleague to develop free English-as-a- Second-Language workshops, now offered four times a week for students and community members. Knox has devoted hundreds of hours as a mentor and instructor to ESL students.

 “In my over 30 years in higher education, I have never known a person more capable and dedicated to mentoring students,” Castillo added. “She sets high expectations for students because she knows the stakes are high for them, but then she is right beside them coaching, questioning, cheering, and guiding.”

About the Program: Rose State College’s Critical Learning in Community Knowledge (CLICK) program is committed to helping students create a successful, meaningful and useful educational experience. Its focus is on improving critical thinking skills, learning strategies, organizational skills, computer literacy, mathematics, reading skills, grammar, writing skills, and student knowledge of available resources both on and off campus. Students may enroll in CLICK as a college credited class, or all are welcome to join the bi-weekly lab sessions for one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.