Carrington’s Lori Hobbs Coaches and Inspires Students to Success
If “Teacher/Coach/Mentor/Cheerleader/Troubleshooter/Friend” were an actual job title, Lori Hobbs would be a shoo-in to land the gig.
As a General Education Instructor, Hobbs has taught a variety of online and on ground classes, ranging from English Composition and Computers in Business to Intermediate Algebra and Medical Ethics and the Law.
But as much as she enjoys the group dynamic of a classroom, Hobbs says she finds one-on-one interactions with students especially rewarding. In her role as an Instructional Coach, Hobbs is available five days a week at the Student Success Center to provide guidance, support and, on occasion, a little tough love.
“No two days are ever the same,” says Hobbs. “One day I’m helping a student get her laptop set up for an online class, and the next I’m proofreading a paper or tutoring a math student over the phone and talking him through a tough problem. Whatever they need, I do what I can to help.”
Hobbs, whose daughter, Sarah, graduated from Carrington’s Medical Radiography program two years ago, says her maternal instincts come in handy on the job.
“I really love helping students develop their self-confidence and find their path,” Hobbs explains. “Everyone has a story, and everyone has a dream. Some students begin their programs with a clear focus and commitment to earning their degree. Others start off feeling insecure and overwhelmed. They’re the ones I’m often able to help most.”
Hobbs says she knows it’s all too easy to second-guess yourself when you’re doing something new.
“Many of our students are returning to the classroom after years of working,” she says. “Their learning curve can be really intimidating at first. My job is to meet students wherever they are, and to help them develop the structure and discipline they need to advance to their next step.”
Structure and discipline come second nature to Hobbs. She served as a Cryptologic Technician in the United States Navy for 20 years and held a top secret, national security clearance. Hobbs says her military training and experience have helped make her a better teacher.
“I know from personal experience that consistency and focus can make the difference between success and failure,” says Hobbs. “Learning and practicing basic life skills can be as important as anything a student learns in the classroom. One of the biggest challenges many students face is figuring out how they’re going to get everything done. When you’re trying to juggle a college program, a full-time job and a family, it’s not going to be easy—and it will be worth it. I remind students that it’s a short-term challenge with a long term benefit.”
Hobbs has coached hundreds of students on basic time management strategies, and says she always assures them that the pressure they’re feeling is normal.
“Learning how to organize your life and manage your time can be tough,” she acknowledges. “I know how challenging it is to balance work, family and school because I’ve done it. But I also know that once you learn how to structure your time, it can make all the difference between feeling overwhelmed and just feeling busy.”
Steve Cain, campus director, says it’s impossible to measure the impact Hobbs has had since joining his team on the Spokane campus nearly six years ago.
“Lori is the first person that students, faculty or staff turn to for help,” says Cain. “She really has a servant’s heart. She says ‘yes’ to any assignment, big or small. Her availability, capability and willingness to help in whatever way she can are second to none.”
Hobbs says that attending Carrington graduation ceremonies always reminds her that what she does matters.
“I love seeing the transformation in students who were so stressed out and unsure during the first week of their program,” she says. “To see them earn their degrees with such confidence and a clear sense of direction is very rewarding. Graduations always remind me that what we do at Carrington is help lay a foundation. We provide stepping stones to the careers—and the lives—that students want.”