ASC celebrates opening of Student Success Center

(01-31-2012)

Funded by Title V for Hispanic Serving Institutions

Adams State College cut the ribbon today on its new Student Success Center, constructed in the Nielsen Library through a $3.18 million Title V grant to strengthen Hispanic Serving Institutions. "

I am extremely proud of what we've done here. It will have a significant impact on the opportunities available to students," said Dr. Michael Mumper, Adams State senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Program Development. "This is a unique opportunity to build our capacity to serve the needs of underserved and disadvantaged students. It is a critical step in improving our student success rates."

The grant also funds three new staff positions to expand student support: a career counselor, an academic advisor, and a coordinator with the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center. The new facility centralizes a variety of college services that were formerly scattered across campus: Academic Advising, TRiO Student Support Services, Office of College Readiness (developmental education), Career Counseling, Disability Services, and Title V. It is also convenient to the Grizzly Testing & Learning, located on the library's second floor.

"This way, students needn't be familiar with all the various offices that offer support. They can just come to the Student Success Center to be guided to the most appropriate service," Mumper added. "The center will not only eliminate run-around for students, but also enhance effectiveness of its various services."

Mumper noted there is a long record of research confirming the positive impacts of Student Success Centers at colleges across the country.

Grant Director Lillian Gomez said the project's objectives for the next three years include expanding professional development activities for faculty and staff, creating ten more technology-enhanced classrooms (TEC) on campus, adding student workstations in the Student Success Center, and devising a system to measure the center's effectiveness.

"We will present workshops and seminars, as well as a summer immersion institute, on best practices for teaching Hispanic, at-risk, and adult students," Gomez explained. These development efforts will continue the work of Adams State's Center for Equity in Teaching and Learning (CELT), which was initiated under Adams State's first Title V grant in 2000.

To date, Adams State has been awarded more than $14.1 million Title V HSI grants, including the award last fall of a $3.6 million grant from the HSI STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The five-year grant will fund several initiatives to help more Hispanic and low-income students earn a degree in STEM fields.

"Title V grants have allowed us to raise awareness of diversity issues and needs on campus," said Adam State President David Svaldi. "Title V funding has helped ASC improve resources, facilities, and teaching, and provide new opportunities. The results benefit all students."

Adams State was the first four-year college in Colorado to earn federal HSI designation, which requires a minimum of 25 percent Hispanic enrollment. In fall 2011, Hispanic students accounted for 34 percent of the undergraduate student body.

More about Title V at Adams State.


By Julie Waechter