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Allen Center committed to student success

Center offers free programs and academic counseling
Mar 5, 2010
By Bethany Scott

Since the Allen Student Help Center opened its doors in the Baker University Center in January 2007, students have had access to a variety of academic support programs that help them reach their full scholastic potential.

Any Ohio University student is welcome to take advantage of the free programs and services offered by the Allen Center, which is a division of University College. The center assists students during any part of their studies, from their first year through their last year. They also help transfer, non-traditional and international students.

"Our friendly staff will directly address student concerns whenever possible and guide students to an office that can help if they are not able to address the concern directly within the Allen Center," said Allen Student Help Center Director Jenny Klein.

Allen Center services include academic coaching, academic success workshops, four-year academic planning and a computer loan program. Students can visit to declare or change their majors or to receive walk-in advising on a variety of topics, including time management, study skills and course registration.

Additionally, students can utilize the Allen Center in their search for a major. Klein explained that a student who isn?t sure which program he or she may be interested in can take the first step toward a decision by simply walking into the office during office hours.

During the 2008-09 academic year, 1,385 students walked into the Allen Center for assistance. 

"Walk-ins are my favorite because students know that they need help and it's the perfect moment for us Allen Center personnel to intervene," Klein said. "I like being there when a student realizes that help is necessary and they need someone to help them grow academically. My job is so rewarding because being there to help students is very fulfilling."

Students who visit the center are typically greeted by Administrative Associate Shelley Barton, and then referred to one of the eight graduate assistants or two full-time academic advisers for one-on-one counseling.

Last year, Allen Center staff assisted a total of 6,207 students, staff and visitors via visits, e-mail and telephone conversations.  

Sophomore criminology major Chris Hughes said he began coming to the center last fall when he realized he needed academic support. He is now enrolled in the Academic Coaching program, which provides students with a personal academic adviser with whom they meet once a week. Meeting topics vary depending upon the needs of the student, but can include time management, study skills, motivation, goal setting and procrastination.

"I feel like they led me in the right direction when my grades started to slip," Hughes said. "I now feel a lot more comfortable in my classes and have seen an improvement in my grades."

Klein said she is excited about a new program that just began fall quarter called the Academic Progress e-reports, which allows professors to update students' academic progress online by using one report. In the past, professors had to evaluate students who were enrolled in special academic programs by filling out multiple forms.

Academic Progress e-reports also benefit students who are in enrolled in special academic programs because they are notified of their academic performance mid-quarter. 

This quarter, more than 65 percent of the Academic Progress e-Reports were turned in by the fifth week of the quarter, which allowed students to make a good decision about whether or not to drop a course. It also allowed them to seek out assistance if they were struggling in the quarter.

The Allen Center, on the fourth floor of the Baker University Center, is named in honor of William Allen, creator of the Links Program and the recently retired associate dean of University College.

The center is located in Baker University Center, Room 419. Regular office hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Allen Student Help Center at 740-566-8888.


Published: Mar 5, 2010 11:38 AM

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