The University of Louisiana at Monroe encourages the community to attend the grand opening of the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center Thursday, Aug. 21, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. A special recognition program will begin at 11:15 a.m. The community will tour the center, which is located across from the ULM Library in Scott Plaza.
Students can explore different majors, conduct research, and receive tutoring in the new success center. The facility features an expanded and reorganized base for study skill development, supplemental instruction, and student problem solving.
In the words of ULM President James E. Cofer, its goal is “to ensure the achievement of every student from the minute they step onto our campus until the day they graduate.”
ULM Director of Retention Barbara Michaelides explained that ULM’s new center surpasses national best practices. “General standards involve the inclusion of a ‘success center’ on many campuses that provide academic support services, advising, and technology. On some campuses, these services are separate and provided by different offices. In some cases, the ‘success center’ manages only academic support services. Ours is all-inclusive, providing students with a central hub for technology, advising, academic support services, and a center that students can use to study in groups or alone, have meetings at, and more.”
The center will offer group study and counselor rooms, multi-media rooms, and extended-hour computer labs for students who have to divide their time between work and class responsibilities. Students will also benefit from a full-time advising staff available to assist them in planning their course loads and career explorations while also providing academic assistance. The hours will be extended to correspond to times students most need access.
The following faculty and staff will be housed in the center:
- Director of Retention
- Assistant Director of Retention
- Coordinator of First Year Experience
- Lab Manager
- Coordinator of Advising Support
- Administrative Assistant
- 10 Advisors (These advisors also teach Freshman Year Seminar (or FRYS) sections; teach freshman English, psychology, and communication studies; and manage all academic support services in the center.)
- Student workers, tutors, graduate assistants, and supplemental instruction leaders
Students will also utilize the Office of Academics and Compliance, which assists student-athletes at ULM in balancing their academic and athletic obligations. The staff is available to help the student-athletes develop and enhance the skills required for academic, athletic, and personal success. The services provided to the student-athletes include academic counseling, mentoring, tutoring, supervised study, and progress reporting. The staff is committed to helping each student-athlete meet the academic standards of the University and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
History of the success center:
In 2002, the CenturyTel Corporation made a lead gift of $300,000 to honor the memory of its founder, Clarke M. Williams. To complete this state-of-the-art facility, an additional $500,000 in private monies was raised, bringing private support of the project to an $800,000 total. The rest of this project was provided by bond proceeds funded with a student-assessed fee. ULM Facilities Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3, arranged for the financing of the project.
Academic programs in detail:
The center views its primary mission as encouraging and assisting students in the exploration of their interests, the pursuit of their goals, and the development of their intellectual knowledge and skills as they strive to reach their full potential.
They achieve this through:
- Professional Academic Advising: The full-time advising staff of the Student Success Center serves as academic advisors for all undeclared students, all pre-Pharmacy students, and pre-professional Health Sciences students. All students are required to meet with their advisor each semester prior to registration.
- FlightPath: The advisors also make use of FlightPath, ULM's online advising and degree audit system. Students can log onto FlightPath and monitor their degree progress online. Students can also use the "What If" feature to see how their current credits could apply to other degrees, should they decide to change majors.
- Learning Communities: The LC program is an integral part of the First Year Experience. All incoming freshmen are part of a ULM Learning Community based on their college and/or major.
LCs provide freshmen with advantages. The LC will make ULM even more learner-friendly by having familiar faces in several classes. This practice typically impacts students as they move out of their first year by forming the good habit of organizing study groups in subsequent classes.
- Summer Reading Program: ULM welcomes new students to campus through the Summer Reading Program, a collection of events surrounding a common theme that introduces students to the ULM learning community.
New ULM students are expected to read the selected book over the summer as their first university assignment, and be prepared to discuss it in freshman English, FRYS, and other classes across campus. The program's goals are to provide students with the opportunity to participate in their first common intellectual experience, to introduce them to the university's academic life, and to enhance the sense of unity among students, faculty, staff, and the community.
- Emerging Scholars Program: This program joins freshmen and sophomores with professors in cooperative research and other professional activities. Students selected for the program receive a stipend of $400 at the end of the semester to participate as "junior colleagues" in the extra-class professional activities of professors.
- Freshman Year Seminar: FRYS is a one-hour required class for all incoming freshmen. It is taught by an instructor and facilitated by a peer leader. FRYS 101 integrates academics and fun through the use of interactive learning, involving group activities and a variety of other techniques.
- Probation Assessment and Student Success: PASS is a voluntary program designed by the Student Success Center to assist students who have been placed on academic probation achieve satisfactory academic success. The PASS program joins participants with a Student Success Center mentor that will work with them throughout the semester and help them to reach individual goals step-by-step. Students with a low GPA or who are borderline for probation are also invited to join.
- Supplemental Instruction: SI is an academic assistance program, which helps students incorporate “how to learn” with “what to learn.” The Supplemental Instruction Program targets historically difficult courses and places an SI leader inside the classroom.
- Success Series Workshops: Each semester, the Student Success Center offers a variety of workshops designed to help students in academic and personal pursuits.
- Majors Fair: This event provides information to students while helping them choose a major. The fair brings faculty and advisors to students in a “one-stop shop” setting.
- DISCOVER/Career Planning: This is a career planning software program that gives students complete, up-to-date databases of occupations, universities and training institutions, financial aid/scholarships, and military options.
- The Tutoring Program: The center believes that when students become actively involved in their own learning, they are more likely to have a rewarding, stimulating and successful experience as a ULM student. Tutoring is available in math, biology, physics, chemistry, atmospheric science, economics, and other subjects by request.
- Accounting Lab: This offers accounting tutoring to ULM students.
- The Write Place: This lab offers tutoring in grammar and writing.
For more information, visit the Student Success Center Web site at www.ulm.edu/studentsuccess or call (318) 342-3667.