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Individualized Support for Your Academic Success

Learning at Beacon is different from any experience you’ve ever had before. It’s exciting. Engaging. Hands on. It’s focused on you and your learning needs and preferences.

The goal of the academic support services at Beacon is to enhance your classroom experience by ensuring meaningful participation, completion of the work, use of different supports, and better communication.

At the Center for Student Success, we embrace your learning differences and specifically focus on creating sustainable academic progress by helping you develop the skills needed for personal independence and responsibility. Through our individualized service, you’ll meet weekly with your learning specialist who serves as an academic and life advisor, an educational/developmental mentor, and a student advocate — with one singular goal: to help you succeed academically!

Learning Specialists

Upon your enrollment, you’ll be assigned a learning specialist who will offer individualized support unique to your needs and academic level. Working in a 2 x 2 model, you will stay with your first learning specialist for your freshman and sophomore years and then move to the junior/senior learning specialist team. Freshman students meet with their learning specialist for 60 minutes per week, either one meeting or two 30-minute sessions. Sophomore students meet with their learning specialist for 30 to 60 minutes per week depending on the need; junior/senior students meet with their learning specialist for 30 minutes each week.

As Educational/Developmental Mentor, Learning Specialists:

  • Monitor your academic progress, review it with you, and create meaningful interventions in the areas of need.
  • Identify, recommend, and assist in the development of skills, compensatory strategies, and positive habits needed to sustain the five behaviors for college success: improved attendance, participation, assignment completion, submission, use of resources, and communication.
  • Help you recognize and take advantage of available accommodations as well as identify and apply for additional accommodations.
  • Coach you on how to monitor performance independently and act strategically to solve problems and complete tasks.
  • Collaborate with faculty to help you improve.

As Academic and Life Advisors, Learning Specialists:

  • Help you select a course of study in line with your interests, ability, and career goals, including the selection of developmental classes for specific academic skills.
  • Assist you in developing a balanced academic plan and register you for classes.
  • Engage in planning for your future.
  • Help you learn more about your learning differences and increase your self-awareness and social and emotional intelligence, especially as it relates to social norms and conventions when interacting with the faculty, staff, and fellow students.
  • Provide tools for effective self-advocacy.
  • Help you resolve and manage conflicts, personal concerns, and life challenges with the cooperation of other departments on campus.

Scaffolding and Feedback

Throughout your academic career, what do we expect from you? Effort and accountability! You need to make yourself available for learning and take full responsibility for your actions for us to be able to best support you through the scaffolding and feedback processes.

Scaffolding is the temporary and appropriate assistance that we provide to help you achieve a learning goal or complete a task by:

  • Breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps
  • Modeling and demonstrating the skills
  • Offering hints and prompts
  • Encouraging self-assessment and self-reflection

Feedback is our constructive, timely comments to help you improve your performance or understanding.

Open Learning

In addition to weekly meetings with learning specialists, you can take advantage of Open Learning opportunities that provide additional mentoring time. During Open Learning, you can work independently in a dedicated study space or interact with peers, peer tutors, or learning specialists. No matter how much time, effort, or resources are needed, Open Learning assures that you have the necessary infrastructure to engage with the course material and practice constructive communication with academic staff and peers.

Open Learning is available in the Center for Student Success and the Beacon College Library. Juniors and seniors also have Open Learning available in the newly redesigned Navigator Lounge.

Open Learning Resources

Strategy Development

Discussing strategies for completing assignments.

Assignment Help

Clarifying assignments or answering general questions about assignments.

Study Sessions

Setting up intensive study sessions by establishing realistic goals, duration, and rewards.

Additional Resources

Identifying additional resources needed for the completion of the work

Communication with Parents

Each semester, the Center for Student Success sends regular parent communications covering the major areas of academic engagement: attendance, class participation, homework completion/submission, use of supports/resources, and communication. Learning specialists do not report grades to parents as it is the student’s responsibility to keep their parents apprised of academic progress; however, midterm and final grades are available in the myBeacon Parent portal.

If parents have any specific academic questions their collegian cannot answer, these issues can be sent to the Dean of the Center for Student Success at centerforstudentsuccess@beaconcollege.edu. All communication from parents to learning specialists or faculty will be forwarded to the Dean, and parents should expect a response within 24–48 hours. Please note if your student has granted consent through the FERPA waiver; otherwise, the communication will be forwarded to the student for follow-up.

Parent Communication Schedule

First semester freshmen and transfer studentsAllAllAll
Other freshmenAllAllAll
Sophomores, juniors, and seniorsStudents on academic warning and with past semester GPA below 2.0Previous group plus students with at least one D or below for midtermsAll
Graduates, students who transfer out, take a leave of absence, or leave College for other reasonsStudents on academic warning and with past semester GPA below 2.0Previous group plus students with at least one D or below for midtermsNone


Triadic Model

The Center for Student Success is part of Beacon’s Triadic Model that brings learning specialists into a larger network with transition counselors and resident directors, who all work together to build better student academic, peer, and campus engagement. The communication systems that are maintained through this holistic approach are known to improve student outcomes and foster a sense of belonging.

Meet the Learning Specialists

Dr. Oksana Hagerty

Dean of the Center for Student Success


Dr. Melissa Boduch

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Derick Bugg

Learning Specialist (Junior/Senior)


Julie Dunlap

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Tanya Harris-Rocker

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Danielle Heider

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Rashad Joiner

Office Coordinator


Maria Marcano-Ramirez

Learning Specialist (Junior/Senior)


Lisa Mauro

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Melissa Mayor

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Barbara Munoz

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Shauna Nandkissore

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Samantha Owens

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Michele Patestides

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Kimberlee Paul

Learning Specialist (Junior/Senior)


Roger Prigge

Learning Specialist (Junior/Senior)


Tresha Stevens

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)


Melissa Walley Packwood

Learning Specialist (Freshman/Sophomore)