Last year, the Center for Academic Success and Transition was established in the Duane G. Meyer Library on Missouri State’s campus. This center was created prior to COVID-19, building off of the department of Student Development and Public Affairs.
The Center for Academic Success and Transition helps study and promote first to second year student retention. This is accomplished through methods such as financial aid workshops, social activities and faculty and staff mentoring.
It also oversees General Education Programs for freshman students.
Kelly Wood, associate provost for student success, said the creation of the Center for Academic Success and Transition took place in June of 2019. The previous provost, Frank Einhellig, had proposed the idea of the to help support focus on first to second-year student retention and graduation rates of all students in 2018.
Wood said funding from the President and Provost allowed them to open the center. The approval for the center occurred in 2018, and the move took place in June of 2019.
Wood said the location has improved student attendance at the center, due to their location in the library and a single area for staff.
“We also now have academic coaches who meet regularly with their students in our office and via Zoom — due to COVID,” Wood said. “So, we get a lot of student traffic due to meeting with our GEP 101 students, coaching students and other student programs and support.”
Wood said since the prior location was a “small storage closet” in the Plaster Student Union, the expansion has given Bear Pantry space to meet with students, display available items and store more inventory.
Wood mentioned associate provost for student development and public affairs, Rachelle Darabi’s, retirement allowed Provost Einhellig to split the Student Development section into two areas.
One is the Office of Public Affairs and Assessment headed by Dr. Keri Franklin, and the other is the Office for Student Success led by Wood.
The two offices work together to promote MSU’s public affairs mission to students and also provide support to first year students.