New Student Success Center assists education majors

Photo by Kelli O'Toole/TheNews

Story by Michelle Hawks, Contributing writer

The College of Education and Human Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today in honor of its new Student Success Center. Katherine Kuhl, junior elementary education major from Louisville, Kentucky, cut the blue and gold ribbon, officially opening the center.

Located in 2217 Alexander Hall, the center is now open to all education majors and Kem Cotharn, director of the Teacher Quality Institute, said it offers students a “one-stop shop” for help with everything from their first days in the College of Education to getting their teacher certification.

“We want to help our students be ready,” Cotharn said. “That’s the main thing.”

Bob Davies, David Whaley, dean of the college, and Robert Lyons, assistant dean of the college, spoke at the ribbon-cutting.

Davies said the new center embodies Murray State’s value of being a student-centered university.

“It takes the power of faculty, the power of fellow students working together, to make sure that all students have the opportunity for success,” Davies said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Whaley said the idea for center came from looking at the needs of students within the College of Education and Human Services, and he hopes the new room will provide a space in which students and faculty can work together..

“We cannot stop in terms of trying to look for new venues for enhancing student learning,” Whaley said.

Lyons spoke directly to students when he said there would be many challenges faced as they prepare to become teachers.

“What we wanted to do was to develop a very visible, accessible system for you to access these services because we want nothing more than for you to be absolutely at the top of your game and successful as you pursue a career in education,” Lyons said.

The Student Success Center is operated by the Teacher Quality Institute, a federally-funded outreach program located on the top floor of Alexander Hall.

Cotharn said the center will mainly assist students with the PRAXIS Core/CASE testing and getting their Teacher Certification. They will also offer a series of workshops called “The Classroom-Ready Teacher.”

Ashley Williams, freshman health and physical education major from Evansville, Indiana, said the center will be very helpful.

“I’ve been stressing about these tests since they first mentioned them,” Williams said. “But here at the Student Success Center, they have all the resources to help you and will make sure you pass it.”

Ashley Bourke, who is employed by the Teacher Quality Institute, will be working at the Student Success Center.

Bourke said she has already been tutoring students within the College of Education and Human Services. She has also been to the regional campuses to help students.

“We just want to make sure our students have the resources to pass these tests the first time around because they are really expensive and time-consuming,” Bourke said.

The Student Success Center will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.