The Academic Success Center receives grant

Jackson LaMarReporter

The Academic Success Center provides services that support students on their journey to gain scholastic independence and achieve academic success, according to their website, and now they can do more with a two million dollar grant. The Success Center received a strengthening institutions grant for 2.2 million dollars, which was the second largest grant in university history.

Success Center director, Katie De Olivera, received the grant on Monday Sept 30, and said that the grant is for the students.

“The Basic premise is really to support students,” De Olivera said “We’re strengthening programs and services, adding services that will better support.”

De Olivera said she plans on taking a non-traditional path to strengthening the services. Not only was she strengthening the teaching programs but strengthening overall areas of student needs.

“Many aren’t academically successful for a couple reasons,” De Olivera said. “That could be food and security, or financials.”

The idea was that students can not be successful in the classroom if they are worried about their next meal, or worried about where they are going to live.

Other items in the proposal are strategies to help students understand content better, and overall become more prepared.

“Another reason they may not be academically successful is underpreparedness” said De Oliveria “as far as understanding study strategies or tools to be successful in their classes or understanding content.”

The grant also makes way for an opportunity to allow more academic success coaching to help deal with more students.

Vice President of student affairs, Dr. Tracey Tyree, said that this is the start of something big.

“This is a great deal for students, the university, and the Academic Success Center,” Tyree said.

According to Tyree this grant is unusual, since most grants are for research purposes. This grant is special because it is used to strengthen the program and in turn overall strengthen academics.

“This is huge,” Tyree said, “for students who face barriers, this could help students graduate.” This money also makes a big difference for the employees. Accounting major Kasie Velasquez, a senior and one of the coordinators for the academic success center, wants to help more students by adding more areas the Academic Success Center could help with.

“I think that means that we’re going to reach out and help more students on campus,” said Velasquez “We are going to be able to offer more.”

Velasquez also said the workers and tutors will also learn and grow as the department gets stronger.

“I think the tutors will also get their leadership skills while they are here,” said Velasquez, “I think as a whole it will benefit the university and the students.”

The Academic Success Center started in the basement of Englemen, and since Tyree has been overseeing the department, it has grown into its own space in the library third floor, Tyree said it is because of the hard work of De Olivera and that hiring her was “one of the smartest decisions” she has made.