Campus Resource Center See’s Changes

The spring semester is almost through its first month and students at William Penn University are starting to get back into the swing of their academic lives. With classes getting tougher students may wonder where they could go to get extra help. The Student Success Center (SSC) formerly known as the Academic Resource Center (ARC), saw new management in the fall of 2015, but they have seen no increase in the use of these facilities. Darrell Mackaig, and Bob Morris were asked to oversee the newly named SSC, and have since discussed plans to improve the facilities, and increase the number of students that use the SSC. As co-directors of the SSC, Morris and Mackaig still hold their titles as Academic Coaches. These coaches are there to help students that struggle with academics during their time at William Penn, as well as have someone to talk to during times where they may need help in their personal lives as well. The name change of the ARC to the SSC, stems from wanting to create a fresh start for students at Penn. Mackaig says that changing the name allows them to encompass more than just tutoring. They are now able to actually focus on the success of students whether or not they are struggling. The Student Success Center will now fall under the Student Success Program along with Academic Coaching Students that get put on academic probation are required to see an academic coach, where they will receive academic help and planning on a weekly basis, and up until the end of the 2015 spring semester were required to go to a weekly skill-building class. Unfortunately the Department of Education deemed this a lifestyles class and refused to continue to pay for the class. Darrell Mackaig, co-director of the SSC and academic coach, says that academic coaching is not just for students that are required to see someone for academic help, students that feel they are able to improve in their academics are also welcome to see academic coaches per their own choice. “I have helped students that felt they were falling off the bandwagon a bit. They weren’t necessarily on academic probation, but their personal lives made them feel that they may need help in the long-run so they get it figured out as soon as they can,” said Mackaig. The location of the SSC is something that has been considered many a time by the co-directors. With it being hidden in the Union Building it is not in the best spot to help with the re-branding. Before being in the Union, the then ARC was situated in the basement of the library and only moved to its current location a few years back. With the hopes of increasing the use of the SSC by students at Penn, they are currently at looking at several different ways that they are able to improve the structure of the SSC but the quality of the tutors and the resources that the students have access to, are a top priority. One of the goals of the re-branding of the SSC is to ensure that the students use it as their first stop for any sort of academic assistance they may need. With tutors that are endorsed by the professors at Penn, students are able to get help in almost any subject they seem to be struggling with. Jordan Postma, sophomore, Elementary Education, says that she doesn’t use the SSC because she feels that she does not trust other students to help her with any academic help that she may need. “Even though they have been hired by the directors of the SSC, I just don’t feel that they are able to give me the help that I need,” said Postma. Mackaig says that he ensures that credibility of the tutors by their current GPA and references from professors. “These are students that are very knowledgeable of their chosen fields. This is why we have different tutors for different subjects, so that we make sure we are only getting the best for each subject,” said Mackaig. Mackaig says that they are currently still in a transitional period and that a lot of students on campus still refer to it as the ARC. “Just the other day I had students give a tour of the SSC and referred to it as the ARC. I guess it just hasn’t really sunk in yet that we are in the midst of a growth period, and students will hopefully see positive changes as we slowly continue with our re-branding,” said Mackaig.


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