Changes anticipated for center on campus

IUS Horizon

The Academic Success Center at IU Southeast will be undergoing some future changes to their department, which should be taking effect sometime in fall 2012.

“Basically we want the Academic Success Center to focus more on the students who haven’t picked a major,” Gilbert Atnip, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, said.

Currently, the Academic Success Center is a blend of students who know what they want to major in and ones who are still uncertain.

“We think if we could kind of focus that unit on the undecided student that would actually help them make decisions about their major and maybe about a career link to that major sooner and more effectively,” Atnip said.

Most of the details regarding the coming changes to the Academic Success Center are still being planned.

“We have some people working on trying to figure out what all the implications are and how we would best advise the other students who are now in the Academic Success Center,” Atnip said.

The need for additional changes on campus is anticipated, including the possibility of hiring more advisers for the campus and a name change for the department.

“I think there’s going to have to be some kind of communication campaign so that students know about these changes,” Dana Gohmann, academic adviser for the School of Social Sciences and interim director for the Academic Success Center, said.

However, the department is in the process of figuring out the new name.
“You want the name to reflect service, so while it has a general name, I think in the future if it’s more focused on exploratory students within the name, then it kind of signals that’s the intended purpose of this office,” Gohmann said.

The overall changes for the department are still being discussed and will not be implemented until every detail is solidified.

“The details are still not at all clear — they are still developing,” Atnip said. “It’s very complicated to try and change anything with all of the systems and policies and everything interlinked, just sitting around the table and not trying to make decisions but trying to figure out what has to be decided.”

For the students who already know their intended major or have an idea of what they want to major in, the goal is to have them advised by the schools for that major.

“We’re looking at trying to get the student to start out with the school that they’re in instead of starting with the Academic Success Center—simply to connect them to their major—the faculty, the school and kind of get that sense of identity right from the start,” Gohmann said.

Gohmann said she feels it is her job to see that the Academic Success Center continues to run smoothly throughout the course of these changes.

The director’s position will not be filled until after the changes to the Academic Success Center have been made.

“Once we’ve got those details worked out, we’ll go and open a search for a director of the new unit, once we know exactly what the new unit is going to look like,” Atnip said.

With the details still being worked out, it is unknown how these changes to the department will be implemented.

“Committees across campus are diligently working on this,” Gohmann said. “The good thing about IU Southeast is that decisions aren’t made just off the cuff. This is backed up by research and a lot of communication, with internal and external constituents.”

Even though the changes will not be taking immediate effect, those who are involved  said they feel confident in the decisions.

“The good thing is that we feel that it’s a good change because we’ve done the prior work to support that,” Gohmann said.