In 5 Questions for the Director of the Kirwan Center for Academic InnovationJoshua Kim explored the purpose and drive behind what drove the creation of University System of Maryland’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation by interviewing the director, MJ Bishop. In this article, MJ Bishop shared insight into the design of a systems-wide student success movement. Bishop stated, “The projects I enjoy most are the ones that really capitalize on our “system-ness” and the strengths our diverse institutions bring to the conversation about how to improve student success. Those are the ones where working at the system level brings value above-and-beyond what the individual institutions can accomplish on their own.” In terms of an ecological framework, the Kiran Center for Academic Innovation appears to use a systems-wide approach to improving student success through interactions among the various systems of student’s life. Ecological based frameworks have been shown to be effective means for improving psychological functioning, should it also be utilized for promoting student academic success at the college level??

Similarly, in Breakthrough Pathways to Student Success, Steven Mintz discusses methods for which he believes can help colleges and universities to promote academic success for students. One of the methods he discusses refers to designing ‘a more integrated, proactive, and holistic set of student support and skills building services.” In other words, student academic success centers should aim to provide students with an ecologically based system of support. In addition to adopting modularized curriculum, competency-based curriculum, alternate credentials, guided pathways, ‘learn and earn’ models, and pipeline programs, Mintz believes colleges and universities need effective student success centers that include:

  • support programs to assist students with money management
  • support for effective study and test-taking skills
  • a focus on reading, writing, and quantitative skills
  • coaching to advise students how to deal with challenges outside of the classroom (systems-based approach)

The College of Saint Rose Academic Success Center

“What we do is in our name: offer the tools needed to guide your path to academic success. Through our learning assistance programs, we seek to provide all students with academic support outside the classroom and equal access to information in the classroom. Our goal is to not only help students become independent and confident learners, but also to increase their academic success and help them reach their ultimate goal of graduation. At Saint Rose, academic support services are an interactive partnership between our staff and the students we serve. We look forward to working with you and enhancing your learning experiences at Saint Rose.” 

Services provided at the Saint Rose Academic Success Center include:

  • Disability services
  • Math placement support
  • Writing Center
  • Tutoring information
  • Study clusters

Please join us for our upcoming March 28th session on “Using SSC (Student Success Center) to its Fullest Potential.” Our esteemed presenters from the Center for Student Success for the March 28th session include:

  • Jess Brouker – Assistant Director of Intercultural Leadership and First-Year Programs
  • Shirlee Dufort – Director of the Writing Center
  • Marcy Nielsen Pendergast – Executive Director of the Academic Success Center

Provisions’ sessions are held from 12:00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!🙂


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