SAM Center: here to help

3 weeks ago 1

The SAM Center is making some changes to procedures that students will want to pay attention to.

The center, located on the main floor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers a suite of academic tools for students to make the most of their collegiate experience.

Beyond the traditional role of advising, the SAM Center also assists in a number of other capacities. The Academic Success Center and Academic Support Programs assist students in navigating coursework and workload management.

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, the different branches of the center all offered extra services specifically tailored to those affected.

But the center is looking for other ways to improve the programs for all students.

Beginning this fall, the center requires an appointment for a majority of its operating hours. These appointments guarantee students a 30-minute block of time in which they can have personal, one-on-one attention.

“[We are] looking at how we got to where we are now with advising at Sam, looking for areas where we can be innovative and offer improvements for all our students,” Ann Theodori, the executive director of the Sam Center said. “We do not need to reorganize or build anything new from scratch. We have a historically sound center to build off of.”

Part of building the program is ensuring that students have ways to mitigate long waits, and providing a space in which lasting relationships with advisors can be formed.

“The SAM Center is here, we are committed to students’ success,” Theodori said. “That hasn’t necessarily been our focus before, we have been so focused on seeing as many students as possible right before registration week that we haven’t had those opportunities to build relationships with students and work with the same set of students from freshman year to graduation.”

The center sets out to complete this goal in collaboration with other groups on campus.

“We meet at least once a month with the Undergraduate Advising Committee, the registrar’s office, financial aid officers, representatives from enrollment management to make sure we are part of the conversation on the operational side of getting students into the right classes,” Theodori said.”

Participating in these gatherings allows the center to stay up to date, and help others keep current across campus.

“The mission of the SAM Center is to provide a quality, student facing, consistent, advising experience for all student here,” Theodori said. “The number one thing that students need to know right now is that we are open for advising and that we are taking appointments.”

With the new appointment system, the advisors at the center have no patience with those who complain about lines.

“The long lines are on them! If they are standing in a long line in November right before enrollment it’s because they didn’t make an appointment ahead of time,” Theodori added. “They can make those appointments online at MySuccess Center.”

For those who can’t manage to operate the online appointment service, the SAM Center will make the appointment for you at their front desk.

Additionally, the center does still offer walk-in appointments in the morning.

“We do walk-ins from 7:30 to 10, and from 10 to 5 we do appointments,” Theodori said.

The center is taking this relatively small step in their march toward a grander vision of relationships and value to the campus.

“That will be our mission, it may take a while to get there, but it is definitely the Sam way of doing things,” Theodori said.