The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Sunday November 28th

Center for Student Success launches new Advising Bar to help struggling students

<p><em>President Foster cuts the ribbon for the Center for Student Success’s new Advising Bar in Roscoe West Hall on Oct. 27 (Emma Ferschweiler / Staff Writer).</em></p>

President Foster cuts the ribbon for the Center for Student Success’s new Advising Bar in Roscoe West Hall on Oct. 27 (Emma Ferschweiler / Staff Writer).

By Emma Ferschweiler
Staff Writer

The College’s Center for Student Success (CSS) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 27 to reveal the Advising Bar, which is a supplemental advising program to the tutoring and other support offered by CSS. With one snip of her golden scissors, President Foster unveiled the space located in the lobby of Roscoe West Hall where struggling students can be helped within minutes with tutoring, workshops and walk-in questions facilitated by trained students.

The Advising Bar has been an available resource to the campus since the beginning of the semester but is now expanding its hours and staying open all year long. While the Advising Board and CSS are managed by directors, the majority of the education is done by Peer Academic Coaches (PACS) who are students themselves. These mentors are ready to help every weekday in the lobby of Roscoe West. 

Student support coordinator and alumni Chinasa Thorpe organizes the Advising Bar and has spearheaded this initiative. She was present at the ceremony as months of work culminated into this grand opening of an improved Advising Bar. Thorpe said in an address that the goal of this resource is to cultivate a space where students can get the information they need to succeed. 

“We’ve created a space for all students to come, whether it’s for an advising appointment [or] for triage questions. We just wanted to create an open space for more than one student to get help at a time,” Thorpe said. 

Because of the lack of availability of students and PACS, the CSS has faced problems in the past with scheduling tutoring and informational appointments. Thorpe said the Advising Bar acts as a solution with interactive workshops, lectures or simply a place to solve a few inquiries. 

“Sometimes we will get students with one question and it can be answered by one of their peers, so we wanted to create a space without having to always schedule an appointment and just have the ability to walk in with the high demand of services that we will get,” Thorpe said. 

There are three PACS stationed at Roscoe West as of now, but Thorpe said they intend to hire more coaches next year depending on school budgeting and the demand for services.

Thorpe supervised the training process for PACS as well as mentored them herself. She said preparing these students is an extensive process requiring lessons in confidentiality and testing their ability to work alongside pupils. 

“It is very important for students to see students because we’re not sitting in a classroom,” Thorpe said. “To have a student who is an undergrad, who is taking these many classes as they are, we felt that was very important to have.” 

Sophomore sociology major Cameron Keating works as a PAC on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to participating in workshops throughout the year. He also helps students with their academics as a tutor for the CSS.

“My freshman year I was always on PAWS trying to figure stuff out, so I thought I could help people with that,” Keating said. 

With the upcoming spring semester, students have more questions regarding registration, scheduling and settling their major. Keating said these types of students have come more often so the Advising Bar is a crucial figure on campus. 

The Advising Bar’s hours of operation will shorten after the registration window closes but will still be open five days a week and offer outside resources. 

“This is a really easy way for students to come and answer their questions, prepare for their advising appointments and feel just a little less stressed about school and their academic requirements,” Keating said.


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