Some 150 people attended the grand-opening celebration Wednesday for the new Success Advising Center in the lower level of the Elliott Student Union.
Kenneth Schueller, director of success advising, said UCM students, staff, faculty and administration officials, along with members of the Warrensburg City Council, Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, members of the engineering design firm Burns & McDonnell and Reasbeck Construction attended the opening.
Schueller said the layout of the center was designed by Laura Niece, architect with Burns & McDonnell.
Interim President Roger Best said the new Success Advising Center helps students succeed and get the resources they need.
“This reaffirms our commitment to students from admission to receive a degree,” he said. “Our number one goal is to facilitate student success.”
Schueller spoke at the event and introduced Best, Mike Godard, interim provost and chief learning officer, and three academic success coaches to speak.
Godard said the Success Advising Center has already helped about 200 students per day since the beginning of September with the new success coaches.
“This center itself is already becoming a very, very high traffic area,” he said. “We’re excited about the opportunities that this is going to present for our students, just for them to have access to services in one place. The last thing we would want is for a student to potentially get bounced around campus or potentially not know where to go to get questions answered.”
Schueller said the center has 21 success coaches, three senior success advisers and himself as the director of success advising to help students. The success coaches are student workers who work with incoming students one-on-one. The Success Advising Center also has three interns from the College Student Personnel Administration program.
Godard said the success coaches are important because they help students get through college academically but also help students socially when it comes to living on campus.
“ A lot of it is just that social awareness of what goes on in a college as well…getting (students) involved with clubs and organizations, going to events and doing things on campus that we know are going to help integrate them into the campus community and help them be successful,” Godard said.
Schueller said by consolidating academic advising services in one place, student confusion over where to go will be greatly reduced.
“This is especially true in cases where a student may have multiple needs based on student type,” Schueller said. “For example, an open option athlete who was admitted through the Advantage Program would have had to go to four different places in the past model to receive all of the necessary support; now it is all in the Success Advising Center.”
Godard said the new center uses technology to make meetings more efficient than ever before.
“We have really utilized technology for our students to have easy access to the advisers,” Godard said. “Now our students can easily schedule appointments with our advisers…you’ll see the monitors are kind of up on the wall there so they can easily check in.”
Godard said he’s received good feedback about the Success Advising Center so far from students.
“I would say generally it’s all been positive,” he said. “They all like the fact it’s in the student union. They all like the fact that they know this is where they can go to get their questions answered…and I do think it shows our commitment to students in terms of having a space dedicated specifically for our students.”