North C Success Center extends student services

GVL / Eric Coulter
North C Living Center, the site of the new Success Center

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GVL / Eric Coulter North C Living Center, the site of the new Success Center

Lizzy Balboa

Grand Valley State University is piloting the North C Success Center this fall to offer students tutoring, academic advising and career counseling services right in their dorm.

The success center is a success, said Mike Messner, director of the Student Academic Success Center.

“We’re seeing lots of students and we’re helping folks,” Messner said. “That’s what we want to be doing. Tutoring is continuing to pick up and the potential is way out there. At this point, I’m happy with the volume we’re seeing.”

The tutoring center currently helps more than 300 students each week, while the advising and counseling services see four to six students each day.

Messner said the success center offers the same services that students receive at the Student Academic Services Building, but its location is more convenient for students who live on the north end of campus.

“We are exploring the possibility at this point of doing a south campus success center,” Messner said. “It might not be exactly the same because we would be targeting more like the sophomore and junior population around there.”

He added that while GVSU only began the project this fall, Central Michigan and Michigan State universities have successfully offered similar programs for a few years.

The programs of these universities were the inspiration for the North C Success Center, said Emily Straker of Housing and Residence Life.

“Our department looked at trends across the country and visited institutions within the state of Michigan to gather information about student success centers similar to what we started in North C,” she said.

The program offered in North C is a collaborative effort of Housing and Residence Life, Counseling and Career Development and the Student Academic Services Center. The academic advising and careering counseling is provided by professional staff from the main offices, while the tutors are the same students who work in the tutoring center.

Although the program targets the freshman class, all students are welcome to use the resources.

Beside counseling and tutoring, the career and academic advising offices in North C also host academic success workshops throughout the year to teach students techniques to improve their grades, concentration, time management, test anxiety and motivation.

Other workshops help students develop habits that lead to success and determine study strategies that suit their individual learning styles.

The tutoring center offers group tutoring for 100-level chemistry and biology courses, but students looking for individual help in other classes can request a tutor for those subjects.

“We targeted more of the sciences out in that area (because) it’s just our high demand for tutoring,” Messner said.

Students can drop in for biology and chemistry group tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., or they can schedule individual tutoring sessions through the Student Academic Services Center.

Academic advising and career counseling representatives are available Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to assist students of all majors and class standings. Scheduled appointments or drop-ins are welcome.

For more information on the North C Success Center or other academic resources available on campus, contact the Student Academic Success Center at 616-331-3588.

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