Academic Success Center Established at CU
Athens, W.Va. – A “one stop shop,” as Director of the Academic Success Center, Dr. Marjie Flanigan calls it, the Academic Success Center combines many functions under one roof, with the goal of helping students at Concord University succeed.
Started this fall, the Academic Success Center fulfills that goal by offering everything from tutoring—both conventional and online—to providing information about affording college.
“We see students who are ready to quit, then receive tutoring and they are doing a lot better now,” Flanigan said. “Also, some students don’t know what types of financial aid are available, and we’re here to help. We don’t provide scholarships but we can help students research available financial aid options and assist with the application process.”
The Academic Success Center works in conjunction with many departments at Concord, including: the Office of Financial Aid, the Concord Counseling Center, the Office of Disability Services, Student Support Services, Career Services, academic divisions and faculty, and community organizations. The ASC helps students with everything from registering for classes to declaring a major and explaining financial aid and the application process that includes completing “FAFSA” (Free Application for Student Financial Aid) forms online.
“We work with many of the departments on campus, and this contributes to our students’ overall success,” she said. “We help students on an individual level.”
One way they help students one-on-one is through tutoring. The goal is to provide tutoring for students whom “SSS” (Student Support Services) doesn’t serve. (SSS is a federal program limited to helping low income and first-generation students.)
Zornitsa Georgieva, tutor of math, science and business courses, has been with the Academic Success center for a month and has been tutoring overall for two years. She said she believes tutoring has had many golden moments.
“I’m very passionate about tutoring,” she said. “I love the moment of connection for students when they finally say: ‘Oh, I get it now!’ Plus, when they complete their course, I feel very proud of them, and I’m happy to contribute a little bit to their success.”
Georgieva says that some people may benefit greatly from tutoring either by a raised confidence level or a raised course grade.
“Most of all, I see an increased rate of confidence,” she said. “A lot of people come in here and question themselves, but then they learn that there is no harm in making mistakes if lessons can be learned. I’ve also seen an increase of grades as well.”
In addition to conventional tutoring services, the ASC coordinates “SMARTHINKING,” launched just this year through a grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC). SMARTHINKING is an online tutoring service. Concord students may use the free service around-the-clock in areas such as math, science, business classes, English, and Spanish. More than 300 universities in the U.S. and abroad are involved with SMARTHINKING, and according to studies conducted by their national headquarters, students who have used the service have higher pass rates, higher levels of retention and receive higher grades. Flanigan says this is perfect for when students need help but the ASC office is closed.
The Academic Success Center is located in room 332 in Marsh Hall and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Additional appointments can be made by e-mailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.
Andrea Meador, a sophomore majoring in public relations wrote this news release. Her hometown is Ghent.