As students step into and journey through this collegiate chapter of their educational career, several paths holding both opportunity and promise in all directions appear; but with different paths come several decisions to be made.
Through active collaboration of Wittenberg’s Student Senate members, Wittenberg University has launched COMPASS [Center for Student Success] with the goal of maintaining a culture of success for all students, creating an environment to maximize space and engagement, and ensuring that students have the opportunity to seek the personal support needed to achieve their goals and choose the direction of their path.
This center is located on the recently renovated main floor of Thomas Library, and is made up of 5,000 square feet of personal study space, technology, collaboration pods, tutoring rooms, group meeting rooms, a remodeled conference room for large-scale group projects and, of course, coffee.
COMPASS combines several offices and services that were previously located in four different facilities on campus, making COMPASS a new “one-stop spot “for students. The available services include comprehensive advising, disability services, tutoring and supplemental instruction connection, academic skill development, academic coaching, the Oral Communication Center, problem solving assistance, success ambassadors, student employment and assisting students maximize their college experience. The center will also provide students with connections to internships, faculty and student research opportunities, community service and hands-on learning opportunities.
This project started to come together as far back as fall of 2014 during Zachary Lough’s first term as Student Senate president. He declared that he wanted Student Senate to utilize the money in the student activity capital fund on a project that would benefit students for years to come. During this time, a conceptualized student success plan that had various offices working together on campus was already in place, so Student Senate wanted to develop a center that allowed these offices to physically coexist together while also creating a new space on campus for students to gather as well.
Lough explained that for Student Senate to allocate money for the project, there had to be a vote. The proposal in question was to fund this project up to $350,000 from the student activity capital fund, which would act as additional money on top of the approximate $128,000 donation that had already been donated for a cause such as this as well as the donations provided by the classes of 2015 and 2016 donated to the space as well from their class gifts.
“The actual costs are not in yet, as there are still things being done to it. As of this moment, I am told that it is coming in a little under budget,” Lough said.
The total budget for the project was a little under $500,000.
The aspiration for the COMPASS program is that the new, fresh environment and coffee shop will draw more students to the library, while providing a sense of campus community and opportunity to utilize very important and helpful services on campus in one central location. Building bridges in place of barriers to support students on their journey to achieving academic and professional success, all while facilitating personal success as well.