Student Success Center
- Institution: Valdosta State University
In Fall 2006 the Student Success Center (SSC) at Valdosta State University (VSU) was established to offer advising, tutoring, and on-campus student employment in one location. The SSC employs two full time academic advisors who supervise 22 graduate assistants who are assigned to departments across campus. Over the 2007-2008 academic year, the full time advisors and graduate advisors had over 3,000 appointments.
In addition to working with students in advising sessions, the full time advisors collaborate with OASIS Center for Advising and First Year Programs in order to provide three more sections of VSU 1101 each semester. These particular sections are targeted for students who have historically been at risk: probation and first-generation.
Through a collaborative effort, VSU will be hosting its first advising conference in September 2008. This conference is a National Academic Advisor Association drive-in conference for the entire state of Georgia.
Prior to the opening of the SSC, VSU's only centralized tutoring locations were the Writing Center and Math Lab. Students needing assistance in any other subject had to seek help within the individual departments. Some of the departments had limited tutoring hours, but many had to seek a tutor as the demand occurred. Not only does the SSC house the former Writing Center and Math Lab, it also employees up to 50 tutors covering the majority of the courses in the core curriculum. The SSC tutoring program is now accredited internationally by the College Reading and Learning Association. A Supplemental Instruction program and online tutoring are in the planning stage.
In addition to the one-on-one tutoring, the writing tutors offer workshops for the reading and writing portions of the Regents Exam. Our math tutors have worked collaboratively with Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs prior to finals to offer group review sessions for College Algebra.
With the development of the Student Employment Office (SEO), on-campus student employment is now systematic and streamlined. The Student Employment Office launched the Student Employment Management System (SEMS) which provides an interactive site for Valdosta State University students to view and apply for on-campus employment, in addition hiring departments have an opportunity to view and hire suitable applicants. Since initialization, 3,075 students have applied for on-campus jobs. The system also has a termination feature which enables future hiring departments to terminate current student assistants or view student employment history. This feature will improve student assistant performance and their experiences.
In addition to creating a systematic process of creating, filling, and terming student assistant positions, the SEO has worked to enhance the work experience of the employee by designing an online course through Web CT which provides certification, training, information, and links in a central location. This interactive, online program will also improve the unity between all on-campus employment programs (Career Services, Temporary Laborers, Graduate Assistantships, and Work-Study). In addition to the Web CT training, "Student Assistant Training" and "Student Supervisor Training" was developed and implemented to help define the roles of each participant and allows for a more unified relationship between on-campus employee and employer.
The SEO has also collaborated off campus with Valdosta Technical College in deploying the Georgia Work Ready Initiative which places emphasis on developing a workforce with the necessary talents for both existing jobs and jobs in the future.
Excerpt from nomination by Dr. Louis Levy.