Success center part of extension

Ashlee Clark

Career Services Director Judy Owen said some students may not notice the Career Services Center at its current location on the second floor of Helm-Cravens Library.

“A lot of people walk right by the door,” she said. “Whether they realize we’re here or not, I’m not sure.”

But the career center will be in the middle of student traffic when it moves to a new Student Success Center that will be added to Downing University Center.

Career Services and several other student services will relocate in fall 2005 to a success center being built on the north side of DUC, near Bates-Runner Hall.

Student advising and retention, student disability services, career services and an office intended to help meet the needs of non-traditional students will be part of the success center.

Smaller success centers will also be created in each college to meet specific needs of students in those departments. The centers should open by the end of the semester, Provost Barbara Burch said.

Each college will design the success center to fit its needs, she said.

“Our bottom line is that this is about a partnership and yes, students are going to have to work,” Burch said.

The goal of the success center at DUC is to help students do well academically and make services more accessible, Burch said.

Construction on the success center will probably begin in October, said Ed West, director of planning, design and construction. The $7 million project will take about a year to complete.

The money for the project was acquired through an agency bond, West said.

President Gary Ransdell said money from academic quality initiatives will be used to pay the bond on the project and help pay for the success centers in each college.

The two-floor success center will be part of a 65-foot extension to the north side of DUC, West said.

Preliminary drawings of the success center should be available after the project is put up for bids in mid to late September, West said.

Ransdell said he believes that consolidating many student services into a high traffic area is important.

“When you get them in the mainstream, and you improve the convenience and improve the access, you’re going to have a better utilization rate,” he said.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected].