“Ask Me” buttons act as resource for student success


Student ambassadors Okwes Nwaelleh and Anam Khan wearing their “Ask Me” buttons on the second week of school. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

During the first day of classes, staff, faculty, administrators and student ambassadors were given buttons that garnered, “Ask Me” for the purpose of helping students navigate El Camino.

A group of faculty members from the Academic Senate and Outreach and Student Relations issued 1000 buttons and asked participants to wear them around campus during the two-week add/drop period.

Professor of Human Development and President of the Academic Senate Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio, along with Administrative Assistant for Outreach and Student Relations Brian Hayden trail-blazed this initiative, which was inspired by a previously issued button.

“There used to be a button about 15 years ago that was very similar and a few of us pulled them out and started talking about how we needed them back again,” Daniel-DiGregorio said, “Then, we saw that Compton Center had gorgeous buttons that were very eye-catching and that’s when we decided that it was time to revive it at El Camino.”

With student success in mind, Daniel-DiGregorio wanted to create a more inclusive and helpful environment on campus.

“The research is very clear. Students need to feel like they matter,” she said, “These buttons are very complimentary to a lot of the campus-wide goals since we’re really focused on student success. It just seemed like this initiative was a way to make our campus more friendly and to get students the help they need.”

Hayden, too, believes that student success is an important focus at EC. He believes that the implementation of the Ask Me buttons will increase the success of students during the beginning of the semester.

“We have never been afraid to try new ways to be that customer service component to students and to really try and increase student success. We know how important that first week or two of the semester is, especially for new students. What we’re trying to do is to get our services to every corner of our campus,” Hayden said.

According to new student Mylene Silver, the “Ask Me” buttons were a valuable resource during her first week of classes.

“It is much more convenient when you’re lost and walking around and you can just go up to someone wearing the button instead of going across campus to find a map or a blue information booth,” Silver said, “I was definitely nervous on my first day but it gave me a lot more confidence seeing so many people who were helpful and willing people to help me and all the new students.”

Daniel-DiGregorio is pleased about the success of the buttons and looks forward to executing the initiative for future semesters and special events.

“In my 30 year career, I have worked in three different states, on two different continents, in colleges and universities of every conceivable mission, and I have never worked anywhere where there were so many people who are happy to do their jobs and so many people who are so supportive of students,” Daniel-DiGregorio said. “The people here really want our students to succeed, and that is a great feeling.”