On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Student Success Center (SSC) and the Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) celebrated their grand opening in the Phillips Memorial Library. A broad mixture of people representing every facet of Providence College attended the event: Friars, students, professors, administrators, IDEI representatives, and department directors of the SSC. There were remarks from numerous speakers, followed by a reception within the different wings of the SSC, refreshments included!
Sean F. Reid, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the crowd while praising the efforts of the SSC. According to Reid, the SSC produces “activity that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our students,” helping them to “find the keys they need to unlock their great potential.” Reid then introduced Reverend Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78, ’82G and College President. Father Sicard, O.P., described the SSC as typifying the values of Providence College; collaborative, ambitious efforts in support of our students.
The next to speak was Dr. Bryan Marinelli, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Academic Success, who reflected on the experiences that came alongside the first year of the SSC. He praised the talents of the SSC administration and student tutors alike, particularly their efficacy in meeting a rising demand from students while also adding new infrastructure to the SSC.. In a separate interview, Dr. Marinelli describes that infrastructure in more detail: “There are two main wings, or functions, of the SSC: the advising wing and the support wing. The advising wing works with pairing students with advisors and to facilitate advising training to help both advisors and students to foster a more constructive relationship. The support wing consists of departments like the Christie Family Tutoring Center, CEL, the Writing Center, etc. All designed to help students prosper.” Dr. Marinelli is incredibly proud of the SSC, and is excited to see these services continue to benefit students. He also stressed the department’s acceptance of new ideas, making a point that constructive suggestions are always welcome.
Next to speak was Dr. Jennifer Van Reet, Director of the CEL and professor of psychology. She describes the CEL as an environment where “achievement is celebrated. The process of creating or building something new is hard, and at the CEL that hard work is enhanced by authenticity, satisfaction, and even fun. The work of the CEL, and SSC as a whole, is learning that anyone can easily adopt.” Before closing remarks were made by Provost Reid, Fr. Sicard, O.P., led a prayer to bless the grand opening.
The reception was excellent, with SSC department heads readily available to share the ways in which they strive to foster student achievement. The Multicultural Student Success (MSS) wing is one such department, headed by Adebimpe Dare, Assistant Dean/director of the MSS. Referred to as “The Treehouse,” the MSS is meant to both foster success and function as a social center. In the words of Dare, “a place for multicultural students to seek academic guidance but also to foster friendship and social bonds with one another.”
The Christie Family Tutoring Center is here for students struggling with any aspect of their work. There are tutors for any subject readily available for students to meet with by appointment. Next door is the writing center, where students can seek aid for any paper, in any department or major. Myles Johnson, ’24, has worked in the writing center for three years. He describes their work as “helping to support students with the writing process in any way we can. If you have nothing, we welcome that. If you have a fully written paper, we welcome that. We are here to help students succeed with their writing, regardless of topic or major.” An especially admirable element of this process is that students help each other to succeed, bringing our student body together.
The last two departments within the SSC form a conglomerate: Academic Support Services. Within this department are two smaller initiatives, Academic Skills and Student Athlete Services. In the Academic Skills office, students come with concerns and are given guidance on which service(s) provided by the SSC will suit them best. For athletes, the Student Athlete Services are here for your support. They provide the same services as Academic Skills, but particularly tailored for D1 student athletes.
Regardless of your academic issue, the SSC is here for you. Students have the opportunity to meet with student tutors, advisors, and administrators who all wish for nothing but the success of students at the College. The SSC is a fantastic resource for students seeking any and all of these services on the second floor of the Phillips Memorial Library.