Being a student at Jacksonville University means being valued, working with others and having your thoughts heard. From department to department, faculty and staff are on a constant mission to improve the student experience and that’s one of the reasons why Jacksonville University has introduced the Student Success Center.
Located on the first floor of the Howard Building and headed by Assistant Vice President of the Registrar Rob Berwick, the Student Success Center came about when he saw the need to create a more seamless student experience. “Usually with institutions, everything is pretty segmented. We have advising. We have career resources. We have the registrar’s office. I’m sure that JU students have felt shuffled around from place to place. With this, we wanted to create a holistic experience for students.”
With the goal of creating awareness for research opportunities, study abroad, and internships, Berwick seeks to bridge the gap between what students consider to be first-year and senior-year responsibilities. “We wanted one place where we could help students connect all of the dots, from advising to career services, in order to reach their end goals.”
The new Student Success Center co-locates the registrar’s office with career management and supports the activities of advising, study abroad and service-learning functions. Berwick wants students to have access to all of the moving parts of their JU experience in one place in a one-stop-shop environment.
During the pandemic, the SSC is allowing students to schedule appointments or utilize their drop-in hours. To accommodate remote requests, it is offering meetings on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other virtual platforms.
The center, in partnership with the office of analytics and planning and student life, has also launched a student success platform called Starfish. Through Starfish, faculty members and staff can request help for students who may need extra assistance, and students can inquire about help as well. The platform also allows offices such as the Student Success Center to send recognition and encouragement to students who are doing well in their studies.
In the upcoming spring 2021 semester, the SSC plans to launch a second platform called V-Mock. This will serve as an automatic resume review service that will allow students to get immediate feedback on their resume as well as network with other universities and view materials that will help them build their resume.
When asked about his favorite part of working in the SSC, Berwick was quick to mention the immediate support he provides to students. “My favorite part is having the ability to support and help students, and being able to give them answers right then and there because that’s what they want. Sending students away downgrades the student experience.”
The SSC is located in the Howard Building. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Story by Kamia Addison