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Persistence Is Key For Student Success

Students walking in front of Mabee Learning Commons
University News

The Student Success Team in the Academic Success Center (ASC) at MNU, led by Gieselle Taylor, director of persistence, is making student achievement and support their top priority. Taylor comes to MNU from Emporia State University where she led the Academic Center for Excellence and Success. Her newly formed team includes Kay Hall, coordinator of student academic success, and Student Success Coaches Lee Waldron and MNU veteran Dennis Troyer.

“Assisting students with degree completion is our overarching goal,” Taylor says. “We have designed services to help students do that.”
Services include:

  • Student success coaching
  • Tutoring and writing assistance in basic to advanced level courses
  • Testing and accommodations

“Student success coaches can discuss how to take notes, study, manage time, and keep going when facing adversity,” Taylor says. “They can help students come up with a game plan, so they don’t stop.”

Accommodations can include additional testing time, providing a note taker and other accommodations that allow the student to start at the same level as other students. This type of service is available for all students.

Taylor says the goal of the persistence team is to figure out barriers that exist for a student and find a way to combat those challenges.

“From start to finish, the team helps students transition to college, stay engaged in ways that are meaningful to them, and achieve their goal--whatever that goal might be,” she says. “Sometimes that’s degree completion, sometimes that’s enough classes and credit to achieve a promotion at work. It’s whatever meets the goal for the individual student and their family.”

The Academic Success Center is part of the larger Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS), which includes Career and Workforce Development led by Dr. Linda Alexander and Institutional Effectiveness led by Dr. Jordan Mantha

Career and Workforce Development can assist students and alums with the job hunt with resume and cover letter review and participation in mock interviews. In addition, job opportunities for students and alums are available through Handshake, the university’s online platform. Workforce Development will also work with businesses and employees on professional development and retraining needed for continued personal and professional growth.   

Institutional Effectiveness gathers data and research on how well MNU meets its stated academic and non-academic goals. Mantha and Taylor are also using data to determine a profile of the center’s students to determine if their services are relevant to the current population. Taylor says her desire is that all the initiatives in the ACS are grounded in research and best practices. 

“I want this to be the hub where student success initiatives are found and for it to become a model for other institutions to follow,” Taylor says.

CAPS and ASC are located together in the Mabee Learning Commons on the south end of campus.

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