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History of Our Student Success Center

Students waiting in the Success Center

The past and present of our center

The Student Success Center was founded as the Learning Center in 1984.

We changed our name to the Student Success Center in 2012, and we continue to provide quality services to MSSU students.

The Student Success Center has called many places home over the years. We have been housed in Spiva Library, the Mansion Annex, Kuhn Hall, the Mills H. Anderson Justice Center, and finally at our current location, Hearnes Hall.

The Center has been led by only three Directors since its inception. Myrna Dolence was the first Director, followed by Dr. Eillen Godsey and, since 2011, Stephanie Hopkins. 

Although the services offered have changed over the years, tutoring, the Tutor Training Class, Disability Services, and the College Academic Skills class have remained the backbone of the Center. 

Our tutors conduct well over 2,000 hours of tutoring per academic year on average. We serve students who need assistance in Math, Biological Sciences, Respiratory Care, General Studies, and Writing, and others. The number of students who we serve has grown exponentially since the creation of the Center.

In 2012, we developed Tutor Day. Area high school tutors are invited to our campus to receive training from our CRLA certified tutors. This event has expanded each year and we now have over 100 students who attend. Students have the opportunity to visit Missouri Southern, get acquainted with various campus offices, and most importantly, expand their understanding of good tutoring practices. To our knowledge, this unique program has not been replicated at any other university.

The College Academic Skills class has grown over the years, too, and currently consists of eight sections in the fall semesters and two sections in the spring semesters. The class was originally designed as a reading class, but has changed in scope and focus over the years. College Academic Skills is now geared toward providing students with a greater understanding of student responsibility, goals and attitudes necessary for a successful college transition. Students who score 17 or below (or have no ACT score) are required take this class.

The Office of Student Disability Services was created in the Center in 1994. The mission of Disability Services is to provide individuals with disabilities support services that will allow them access to programs, services and facilities, and activities of the University. Our services have expanded to include note-takers, extended testing time, non-distraction testing areas, sign language interpreters, and textbooks in alternative formats. Accommodations are individualized based on the needs of each student as identified in documentation of the individual's disability.

We are currently members of CRLA (College Reading and Learning Association) and NCLCA (National College Learning Center Association).

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