All About Students
New center focuses on student success
new center on campus is all about helping students reach graduation.
The Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience, or CSSFYE, is a consolidation of several offices and initiatives on campus to improve student services.
“The ultimate goal in all university initiatives is student success,” said Kyle Ellis, director of CSSFYE. “As part of the Division of Student Affairs’ reorganization, it became apparent that our students could benefit from having one centralized office for many of our student-success initiatives. By placing centralized academic advising for most freshmen, first-year experience programs, veterans and military services, and professionals dedicated to student persistence all in one location, the university is ensuring efficient and effective service for our students.”
One component of the center is the EDHE 105 Freshman-Year Experience course. More than two-thirds of incoming freshmen take the 3-credit-hour course, which assists them in making a successful transition from high school to college.
“We’re trying to help students deal with life skills, time management, wellness, homesickness, kind of outside-the-classroom issues that can hinder them and keep them from being successful,” said Dewey Knight, associate director of CSSFYE and coordinator of the EDHE 105 program, who previously was associate director of financial aid. Now he gets to direct EDHE 105 full time.
“This is kind of my dream position at the university, to devote all my energies to first-year students,” Knight said. “It’s something I enjoy, and it’s really gratifying to me to see how we grew from five sections seven years ago; now we have 90 sections.”
Lucy Campbell, a forensic chemistry major from Atlanta, took EDHE 105 in the summer. (Until this year, the course was offered only in the fall semester.) She said the course was a great way to start freshman year.
“It is a positive class and a great way to begin college life,” Campbell said. “It doesn't just focus on how to manage academics. It also focuses on how to manage your social life as well as life’s necessities such as laundry, meals, etc., in your spare time.”
The Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience also provides these services:
- Academic advising for all undeclared students and freshmen in the schools of Accountancy, Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and many of the departments in the College of Liberal Arts. About 80 percent of freshmen are assigned a professional adviser within the center and can ask for help with any issue (academic or nonacademic) that pertains to being successful during the first year of college.
- Veterans and Military Services: The coordinator of Veterans and Military Services is committed to assisting student veterans with all aspects of college life. Some of the coordinator’s responsibilities include conducting workshops for veterans, training faculty and staff who interact with student veterans, and recruiting new veterans.
- Other services: The center oversees the EDLD 201 Career Decision Making course, annual majors fair, e-advising, Freshman Attendance Based Initiative, Academic Advising Network and StudentsFIRST (support for students who are aiming to be the first in their family to earn a college degree).
For more information about CSSFYE, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/cssfye/.