Center will help students reach goals

Mai Hoang

Western officials hope a student success center in Downing University Center will provide a one-stop source for students to reach their academic goals.

A committee of staff members from Academic and Student Affairs will examine students’ needs and decide what will be housed in the center, which will be funded by next semester’s tuition increase.

Luther Hughes, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and a member of the committee, said they have talked with several schools that have such centers.

Committee members visited Ball State University Monday to talk to officials running its student success center, he said.

“We want to plan it with the most understanding of what others have done so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Hughes said.

The academic quality proposal made by President Gary Ransdell this semester stated that $600,000 would be set aside for the center.

Gene Tice, vice president of Student Affairs and campus services, said Western has several options for the center’s space.

Those include removing some space from the DUC recreation area and using it for the center or building new space in DUC. They will have a better idea of what space will be used by January, Tice said.

Hughes said the center will likely house The Learning Center, Career Services, Disability Services, a computer training center and academic advising. It may also house diversity programs, he said.

Western also wants to include space for students to use media technology such as video and PowerPoint to work on individual and group projects and space for future growth.

The committee is currently talking to each student support program to determine what space each of them needs.

Hughes said he hopes the committee will complete its research by the end of this semester and have an artistic rendering of the center by January.

Provost Barbara Burch said she hopes the center will be open by fall 2004.

“We want to help students as soon as we can,” she said.

Reach Mai Hoang at [email protected]