University News

Resources at Western Help Students Find Success

February 22, 2021


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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Statistics show that first-year college students who take advantage of tutoring and other academic success resources have a higher GPA than those who didn't seek assistance, and are more than likely to finish college in a more timely fashion. At Western Illinois University, the offices throughout the University are continually putting more resources into place so WIU students have the tools to succeed during their time at Western.

According to Justin Schuch, executive director of retention initiatives at WIU, involvement in success programs makes a difference, and not just for students who may be struggling or on the edge of a passing grade.

"There are many different types of academic support resources at WIU, and students who get connected to them find a lot of value," Schuch said. "For example, students who utilized Rocky's Resources Tutoring and Support 10 or more times in the semester had an average GPA of 3.46 this past fall semester. These resources exist to help our students remain enrolled as successful students. The University Writing Center also provides direct support to students and is a great resource."

At WIU, programs such as Rocky's Resources Tutoring and Support, the University Writing Center and Academic Success Coaching are just a few examples of the initiatives in place for all undergraduate students both in-person and online to access at no cost. Students can find success resources and tools at wiu.edu/academicsupport.

"As our commitment to student support continues to develop, multiple services focused on student success have been realigned to enhance focus on student retention initiatives. We have an amazing team focused on student success," Schuch added.

Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement
The Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement focuses on career development for both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses, as well as online students. Offering traditional resources like resume review, interview preparation, career navigation and more, the Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement will also focus on the enhancement of employer relations and engagement with our students to create increased experiential learning opportunities. Career development resources had previously been housed in the Office of Transitional Programs. The Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement is found in the lower level of Memorial Hall on the Macomb campus, as well as in QC Complex C on the Quad Cities campus, and led by Audrey Adamson. More can be learned about the Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement at wiu.edu/careers.

First Year Advising Center
The former University Advising and Academic Support Center has been developed to become the First Year Advising Center. Incoming first-year students are advised via an outstanding advising team in the First Year Advising Center who support incoming students through their first year with multiple meetings and touch points. The First Year Advising Center also serves students in the Reach program, as well as students who are undecided in their field of study. The First Year Advising Center also supports current high school students who are dually enrolled at Western Illinois University. The First Year Advising Center is located in the lower level of Memorial Hall, led by Michelle Yager. More can be learned about the First Year Advising Center at wiu.edu/FYadvising.

Transition and Academic Skills Center
The former Office of Transitional Programs has evolved to become the Transition and Academic Skills Center (TASC). Leatherneck Launch (new student orientation in fall, spring, summer) and Camp Leatherneck are two key programs coordinated from the center to focus on the first steps students take as Leathernecks. The Transition and Academic Skills Center also focus on all students' transition to their academic college life by focusing on academic skill development resources like Rocky's Resources, the Academic Success Coaching Program, academic skill workshops and other tutoring support. The Transition and Academic Skills Center is located in the lower level of Memorial Hall under the leadership of Michelle Janisz. More can be learned about the Transition and Academic Skills Center at wiu.edu/tasc.

Office of Retention Initiatives
The Office of Retention Initiatives will continue to provide mentorship programming resources and early intervention initiatives for students located in Sherman Hall. The Office of Retention Initiatives works closely with the Provost's Office on the implementation of the First Year Experience program, as well as the Division of Student Services to ensure processes are in place to support students. More can be learned about the Office of Retention Initiatives at wiu.edu/retention.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations