SAVANNAH — Armstrong State University hosted a ribbon cutting last Thursday for the new Student Success Center on the main campus, between the Pirate Athletic Center and Alumni Arena.
"The purpose of this building is to provide critical services for the support of our students’ success," said Armstrong Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Smith. "That is something that we’re very serious about at Armstrong."
In development since 2014, the Student Success Center, which features two classrooms, tables, lounge chairs, smaller study rooms and a patio, serves as a central location for academic advisement. The venue also houses the First-Year Experience Program, which helps first-year students successfully navigate the transition from high school to college.
"This project is not just a space," Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken said. "It is a symbol of Armstrong’s commitment to student success."
Armstrong Director of Academic Advising and Support Mark Taylor explained that the process has been long, but worthwhile, opening in time to greet students on the first day of the new semester.
"Our students are coming to us from many different places in their lives and in their academic careers, and our responsibility is to meet them where they are," Taylor said. "That is our message to students—come to the Student Success Center, and we will take care of you."
Armstrong student Rebekka Odum rounded out the remarks with a personal story of how building a strong relationship with her academic advisor has been key in ensuring her success as a non-traditional student.
"My advisor has been my base, my foundation," said Odum, who said she relies on academic advisement to ensure she balances her responsibilities as a student, an employee, a wife and a mother. "If it were not for my advisor, I would not still be here today."
Following remarks, the speakers cut the ceremonial ribbon and invited attendees inside for a self-guided tour and refreshments. The center was already in use, with students gathered in the various study spots and student workers scheduling advising appointments for their peers at the front desk.
"The Student Success Center is tied to the mission of the university," Armstrong Interim Associate Provost for Student Engagement and Success Becky da Cruz said. "Our students needed that a location for advice and mentoring, and we wanted it in one place."