One-stop shop: Student success programs moving to library

Good news, MVNU students — faster Wi-fi is coming. As part of a $2.5 million educational grant from the federal government, students can expect faster Wi-fi in the Thorne Library and Learning Resource Center next fall.

Along with faster Wi-fi, the grant will pay for a new Center for Student Success in Thorne Library. The center will combine several existing services under one roof.

Associate Vice President for Student Success and Retention Dr. Brad Whitaker is overseeing the project, which will “provide a one-stop shop” for academic support, career services and advising, which he calls “the resources students need to succeed.”

“Students will no longer have the question of where do I go to get help. There will be one answer — go to the main floor of the library,” Whitaker said. “If you need help with research, math, writing, career or time management, all of it is here.”

The main floor of the library will be renovated this summer to accommodate the center. The redesign will include flexible study tables, study carrels, natural light and a vending area, complete with coffee machines. A math lab will be housed in the current extended hours room during the day.

Whitaker is assured existing library materials and services will not be affected.

“We don’t want to take away from the important things existing in the library,” Whitaker said. “It’ll still be a fully functional library.”

Photo by Drew Chaltry: The first floor of the library will be redesigned over the summer to make room for the new Center for Student Success. The center will include advising, academic support, tutoring and career services.

Interim library director Paul Nixon said using the library as the headquarters for student success is a great extension of the library’s traditional role.

“In a sense, the library is a place where you come and find assistance in finding resources, so they’ll also be able to get assistance in studying or writing, math or tutoring,” Nixon said. “This [area] should be a help for students in their research and study.”

The library already houses a Writing Lab on the first floor. Future plans include GRE preparation for all students and Pearson test study preparation for education majors. Academic Support is also working on improving the faculty advising process to ensure that students have quality advising throughout their college career.

Construction will begin after commencement and is scheduled to finish in time for the fall 2015 semester. Library employees have already begun the process of shifting the second floor periodicals to make room for the media and reference collections, which will be re-located from the first floor.

Although some study area will be lost as part of the redesign, it will be minimal, Nixon said. Study areas will still be available on the second and basement floors of the library.

Whitaker believes this center will assist all students and improve student retention.

“Whether you’re beginning and trying to pass College Writing or you’re pre-med and you’re trying to put together the best resume possible, or anything in between — we got it,” he said.

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