CU-Mansfield holds open house event at Student Success Center



The Commonwealth University-Mansfield Student Success Center held an open house celebration event for students, staff and faculty to tour the success center spaces, enjoy refreshments and showcase the hub for resources that is available to Mansfield students.

During the event, alumni and professional engagement set up a table to highlight their work and the connection between offices and Dr. Marty Wygmans, vice president for student success and President Bashar Hanna both delivered remarks.

The Student Success Center, located at 212 South Hall, acts as the front desk for the building and its services within, providing a wide range of support to students, including the offices of financial aid, registrar, student billing, learning center, counseling, advising, TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), university disability services, dean of students, student involvement, student conduct and student success. The center also offers a laptop loaner program and center staff helps direct students to additional offices and services across campus.

The center's main office and conference room also provide a space for Partnership for Achieving Student Success (PASS) students, student-athletes and others who require study hours a place to gain those hours by signing in and out using a QR code.

"The Student Success Center brings together most of the student support services for Mansfield students into one convenient location. I am extremely excited to see how all of the support systems will work together to serve students at an even higher level," said Dr. Emmy Borst, executive director of student success. "Being co-located allows the Student Success faculty and staff to make the student experience more streamlined."

The center front desk is staffed by student Partnership for Achieving Student Success (PASS) peer mentors daily from 9 7 p.m. Other student staff includes TRIO SSS peer mentors, student tutors and student workers in the writing center. Professional staff includes Judi Brayer, associate director of student success and John Shaffer, assistant director of student success, who are available to students Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"All of South Hall is here to support students encountering barriers to success," Shaffer said. "The center is a one stop shop for student support services, allowing easy access for students and the opportunity for collaboration between offices. The main office provides a front desk and welcoming area for students to ask questions, study and interact with the peer mentors."

Emily Smith, a senior psychology major (health concentration) from Lehman, serves as a peer mentor at the success center. Smith helps her mentees with homework, planning their semester assignments, scheduling tutoring sessions and just lending a listening ear to those who need to talk. She also is a member of the women's soccer team and can relate to mentees who are student-athletes, checking in on their athletic lives well as their academics.

"I think the center is an amazing resource because all of our staff are willing to help in any way we can for students to be successful," Smith said. "Students have a nice space to get their work done and can get help from a mentee if necessary. It is a way for students to be held accountable for their coursework and for themselves as well."

The student success staff supports and mentors PASS students as well as gain experience through modeling good behavior, periodic meetings with their mentees and encourage and motivate their mentees to work toward academic success. The staff also respond to academic flags that faculty raise and engage students in working on time management, study skills and more. They also host workshops throughout the semester on various subjects from planning to stress management.

"Student Success is our number one priority at Commonwealth University," said Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, president. "Many of our students face significant barriers along their degree path. Their success depends on our ability to meet them where they are, support them and provide guidance in a number of ways. The Student Success Center helps us take another important step in our ability to support Mansfield students and provide the resources they need to succeed in and out of the classroom."