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This item originally appeared in the April 21, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Tutoring, advising and technology will soon be available to all students in one convenient location.

Dr. Terry McConathy, the executive vice president and the dean of the graduate school, said this center, which should be completed by May 2006, will be on the 2nd, 12th and 15th floors of Wyly Tower, and will host various programs geared toward student improvement.

"It's tentatively called the Student Achievement Center," McConathy said. "The purpose of the Student Achievement Center is to bring together a lot of different services and opportunities to enhance the learning experience for students at Tech."

Some examples of these programs are student exchange, study abroad and supplemental instruction.

"Having a formal, comprehensive adviser training program will positively impact students' advising experiences," McConathy said. "We think that it's going to have several different impacts, such as increased retention and increased student graduation down the road. We're going to start developing curriculum programs by next summer."

Lindsay Mencacci, the president-elect of the Student Government Association and a senior biology major, witnessed McConathy's presentation of the future center and said she was impressed.

"I think the appearance of [the center] is going to attract students," Mencacci said. She also feels having so many different services in one place will affect retention greatly.

"It will help retention because it will be a one-stop shop for students," Mencacci said. "I think students will be comfortable going there and getting information on just about anything on campus."

Mencacci said Tech's campus has offered many of the services that are going to be held in the new center, but they have never been as easily accessible.

"The best thing about the center will be tutoring, because we have the opportunity on campus, but it's just not centralized," Mencacci said.

The centralized format would be an especially big help to students on campus for the first time, said Dan Erickson, director of the International Student office.

Erickson said, often, students who are on campus for the first time feel that they are being given the run-around, and the convenience of the center would keep them from being sent to the wrong offices over and over again.

"Right now, their first few days in the United States, they kind of have to run around to find things," Erickson said. "And this will give them a central place to find information instead of being lost."

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