Academic success center helps prepare students
February 19, 2009
College can be challenging, but for UW-River Falls students the Academic Success Center holds the possibility of making college life a bit easier.
The Academic Success Center is located in the basement of the Chalmer Davee Library in room 105. It offers a variety of services from tutoring, pre-major advising, disability services, multicultural services and academic programs.
Sophomore social work major Alice Hibbler works in the Academic Success Center and answers questions students may have about tutoring and disability services. Hibbler also assists in the Emerging Leaders Institute, a program that designs workshops for upperclassman.
“I’m helping others succeed,” Hibbler said. “Knowing that I can help others is a really good feeling.”
Students can sign up for tutoring at the Academic Success Center in almost any subject they are having difficulty with. Students with disabilities can make appointments with Mark Johnson for advising and getting helpful accommodations made. Aside from tutoring, students also have the possibility of receiving help with note taking. Junior business administration major Mallory Aukes is one of the assistants who helps students with note taking.
“The Academic Success Center offers lots of great opportunities,” Aukes said.
Pre-major advising is offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Currently there are approximately 350 to 400 pre-major students on campus, Director of Student Support Services Torrion Amie said.
Student Support Services (SSS) is a support program offering grants to students with disabilities, low income, and/or first generation students, Amie said.
SSS offers $278,292 in grants annually. Students can receive an application for SSS by contacting Amie, or going on the Academic Success Center’s Web site.
Amie holds several different positions at the Academic Success Center. He said he enjoys getting students to “dream big” and also finds it awarding to assist them in “building their road map to a career.”
Currently Amie is a pre-major advisor, director of student support services, and in January 2009, he became the Multicultural Services coordinator. In his Multicultural Services coordinator position, Amie plans academic events, facilitates study groups and informs students of scholarships and grants.
“Multicultural Services is academic in nature, not necessarily social,” Amie said.
Also offered through the Academic Success Center is the McNair Scholars Program, University Services Associate Pat Lofgren said.
This federally run program helps low income, first generation college students get into graduate school, Lofgren said.
Currently there are 27 McNair Scholars and the program takes in 13 new scholars each year who plan on earning a Ph.D., McNair Scholars Program Assistant Director Njia Lawrence-Porter said.
The McNair Scholars Program helps prepare students for graduate school. It also pays for the McNair Scholar’s entire graduate education, and even offers health insurance, Lawrence-Porter said.
“Even in these economic down times, McNair is still getting the money. It really is amazing,” Lawrence-Porter said.
A similar program offered at the Academic Success Center is the Upward Bound program run by Tyra Nelson. Upward Bound is a government funded program that helps inner city high school students achieve their goals of going to college and graduating, Academic Success Center’s marketing specialist Karwee Marshall said.
Upward Bound is for low income, first generation students. During the school year, it offers tutoring, ACT prep, community service, after school activities, college tours and meetings, Marshall said.
In the summer there is a six to seven week camp hosted at UWRF. The Upward Bound students of the summer camp take classes in the morning and have activities and meetings in the evening. Marshall has worked for Upward Bound the last four years in a row. In the past he has been an RA and a mentor.
“Once you’re a part of Upward Bound, you’re always a part of Upward Bound. It is a family,” Marshall said.
Students may stop by the Academic Success Center at any time for questions or to sign up for an appointment.
The Academic Success Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. On Fridays it closes at 4:00 p.m.
“All of our parts are necessary to function properly for students. I believe we have one of the best teams on campus,” Amie said. “At the core of all of my colleagues is a craving to assist students in succeeding.”