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VCC Breaks Ground on University of Arkansas’ Student Success Center

FAYETTEVILLE, AR — VCC has begun construction on a new Student Success Center that will unify and house the University of Arkansas’ (U of A) student success programs and resources designed to help students navigate financial, academic and other roadblocks they may face on their journey to graduation.

A groundbreaking was recently held at the construction site in the historic heart of campus at the location of the former Social Work Building, between Memorial Hall and Old Main. The new Student Success Center is scheduled to open in early 2022.

"This center will provide one-stop comprehensive academic support for our students and allow us to expand our student success initiatives," said Trevor Francis, Associate Vice Provost and Director of Student Success. "This center is an innovative approach that we think will become a model for how to maximize the success of students on a university campus."

Francis said student success initiatives include utilizing predictive analytics to engage in proactive academic, financial and personal advising and tutoring. The new building will also provide collaborative and cross-functional workspaces to drive a comprehensive approach to retaining and graduating students, beginning when they are still in high school.

"We believe every student we admit can succeed at the University of Arkansas and the Student Success Center will help our students do so," said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. "This center is an essential part of our one-student-at-a-time philosophy here at the U of A. It will provide a hub of services and resources to support students from the time they are admitted through graduation and the beginning of their careers."

Summer bridge programs housed in the center offer incoming freshmen the opportunity to complete college courses in the summer prior to their first year, as well as Blackboard learning modules that help prepare them for college.

From there, programs such as the 360 Advising Program — a pilot initiative in the Office of Student Success — proactively assist students in need by using predictive analytics to provide mentoring and resources and support to first-generation Arkansans.

Other programs in the center will apply high-impact practices to general education classes, including tutoring for gateway courses and studios for various general education disciplines including world languages and cultures, communications, writing and STEM. A life design studio offers an approach to students' college experience by encouraging them to apply design thinking — a methodology that encourages solution-based approaches to problem-solving — to planning their major and career. And office space will be dedicated to faculty teaching general education or gateway courses, offering increased accessibility to students.

The building will also house offices for the Teaching and Faculty Support Center and advisers in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

While the center will unify many student success efforts across campus, the Office of Student Success will also continue current partnerships and form new ones with Student Affairs and academic units across campus to offer resources, share best practices and collaborate on programming to help students.

The four-story, 71,000-square-foot building is designed to fit in with the architectural style of the historic core of campus with modern touches such as vast windows lining each floor. VCC has completed other buildings on the Fayetteville campus, such as Ozark Hall, but also projects such as Donaghey Aquatic Center on the Little Rock campus.

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