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Student Success Center, coordinator focus on retention

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Providing a quality learning environment for communities throughout the River Valley and ensuring that students complete their education is the mission of Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus.

The newly created Student Success Center, headed by Student Success Coordinator Mike Bogue of Ozark, will play a significant role in meeting this mission.

Along with Administrative Specialist Stuart Russell of Russellville and two student workers, Dakota Julian of Ozark and Lee Anne Harris of Alma, Bogue coordinates programs and recommends policies to improve student retention.

“The Student Success Center’s role on campus is to improve student retention by proposing and implementing programs and services that will empower students to succeed, both in their classes and in their lives,” Bogue said.

“For students, the center offers free tutoring in a range of subjects, primarily algebra, science and English composition. The caliber of our tutors – Stuart, Lee and Dakota – is second to none.  They know what they’re doing, have the grades to prove it and can help students academically excel.”

Monday through Thursday the center offers tutoring in beginning, intermediate and college algebra from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and foundational English composition and English composition I and II from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Fridays, the center offers algebra and English composition tutoring from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From fall 2009 to fall 2010, Arkansas Tech-Ozark had a retention rate of 60.1 percent, including cohort students who graduated during this time. Meanwhile, the fall-to-fall retention rate average for all Arkansas two-year institutions was 57.6 percent.

Still, Bogue said one of his immediate goals is to raise the retention rate “by at least two percent points.”

Chief Academic Officer Bruce Sikes said, “Our retention statistics can and will improve, as we have put initiatives together to ensure student success. The establishment of the Student Success Center came directly from the campus’ strategic plan, as the faculty and staff sought out ways to improve student learning and retention on the Ozark Campus.”

Before coming to Arkansas Tech-Ozark, Bogue worked on Arkansas Tech’s main campus in Russellville for 18 years. When asked why he chose his line of work, he said, “I went into student services because I wanted to make a difference.

“I had already privately tutored students for years, and going into student services allowed me to reach many more students. Specializing in retention lets me help the maximum number of students possible stay in school, and being the coordinator of Student Success allows me to coordinate programs and procedures to achieve that end.

“Helping even one student stay in school is exceptional, but being able to coordinate services that will help hundreds of students stay the course is even better.”

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