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October 15, 2015

Business Student Success Center: Defining What a Supportive Program Looks Like



Brianna Ellis, Coordinator of the COB Student Success Center
Brianna Ellis, Coordinator of the COB Student Success Center

The college’s reputation is built on the success of our students. Sometimes the name of something isn’t all that meaningful. In this case, not only does the name say it all, it captures the spirit and intent—we want and need our students to succeed.

The new Business Student Success Center was created in Glenn Hall this summer, creating some of the most updated, professional work and collaboration spaces within one of the older academic buildings on campus. It is a hub for activities that will offer business students support in earning their degree, facilitating their personal and professional development, and enhancing the Chico experience.

“During the 2014­–15 school year, the College of Business Student Success Center employed 13 tutors, hosting 2,560 hours of free tutoring for the hardest courses in the business curriculum,” explained the center’s new coordinator, Brianna Ellis (BA, Sociology, '10). “With a brand new space that can accommodate a wide range of functions, this year we plan to expand tutoring to cover additional classes and employ a larger staff to support all aspects of the program.”

Tutoring focuses on the business subjects that have traditionally seen the highest failure rates, but are critical features of a rigorous business curriculum. With nearly one fifth of business students seeking our free “drop-in” tutoring in the past year, we’re bolstering our support for broader achievement. The focus is to emphasize confidence in learning and mastery of core courses that provide the foundation for future steps.

“If a student is willing to put the time in to learn, we should give them every opportunity to become proficient at business fundamentals,” says College of Business Dean Judy Hennessey. “These offerings can be especially important for 46% of our majors who are the first generation in their family to attend a university and are adapting to business degree expectations, but these programs tend to raise student performance across the board. Investing in student success is a win-win.”

Tutoring session in the new COB Student Success Center
Students attend a tutoring session in the new COB Student Success Center

“The Center will also host a number of carefully designed workshops to aid students in their professional development,” Ellis said. “This includes events and conversations around learning styles, resumé writing, and dressing for success, to name a few. These business workshops are designed to complement the training and job search offerings hosted out of the campus-wide Career Center.”

Workshops address student needs in a setting that is supportive and social, creating outcomes that can positively shape their weeks and semesters ahead. Students will be more aware of the campus resources available to them, find clubs and organizations that fit their interests, feel supported in their efforts to pursue internships and jobs, and prepared to make the right first moves in their professional careers.

Stop by the Business Student Success Center in Glenn 206 to see the program in action.