New Student Success Center begins operation

Thursday, September 12, 2013 4:00:00 PM

In an effort to enhance the overall student experience, several areas of the University have been restructured into a new Student Success Center that has begun operation this month.

The former Office of Student Development has been dissolved and its core functions incorporated into the new center, as well as the functions of Mission & identity. The new center has been in development for some time and took shape after significant study of possible structures to increase student service.

The new center has four key areas of focus. These include:

  • Student Experience --This area is charged with facilitating programming to increase the vibrancy of campus as well as to connect all students with the University. It includes functions such as residence life, campus programming, international education, study abroad, and career education (job preparation and career readiness).
  • Mission Engagement– This area is charged with exploring how the University engages its Catholic Franciscan identity in all facets with programming for students, staff and faculty.  It includes functions such as university ministry (formerly campus ministry), experiential learning,  first year experience collaboration, and collaboration and support of the Liberal Arts core.
  • Student Support-- This area is charged with providing holistic support to all students so they are best prepared to be successful at Stritch. It includes functions such as academic support, coordinated disability services and the wellness center (both counseling and health services).
  • Academic and Career Advising --  This area oversees advising that connects students’ academic and career goals.  It includes functions such as academic advising for traditional undergraduates (previously One Stop Counseling), collaborative efforts with professional and faculty advisors in all colleges, career exploration and counseling, and prior learning assessment and articulation.

The new center will allow for increase efficiencies, better synergy between and among student service units, and ultimately enhanced student service, said Dr. Tia Bojar, executive vice president for academic affairs.

“The goal is to truly focus on student success,” she said. “This is a focused effort to fulfill a significant goal from Visioning and Planning, to maintain a vibrant campus life.  After significant study of various structures, the Student Retention Committee believes that this new model is needed and will be highly successful for us.”

The new center will be led by Tracy Fischer, who will serve as the senior director.  Fischer, who most recently served as senior director of advising/university registrar, is an ideal choice for the new position, Bojar said.

 “What makes Tracy an excellent fit is her understanding of student affairs and enrollment -- she has knowledge of all of the areas and brings a lot of energy and a wonderful skillset,” she said. “Overall, it is a talented group and I really think they can work together very well as a team.”