The mission of the Center for Student Success is to create meaningful and sustainable academic progress by helping the student meet the standards of personal independence and responsibility.
Services at the Center for Student Success are offered by learning specialists who act as educational/developmental mentors, student advocates, and academic and life advisors.
Every student is assigned to a learning specialist at the time of matriculation to Beacon College: first-time and freshman transfer students – to freshman learning specialists, all other transfer students – to sophomore learning specialists (or as appropriate on a case-by-case basis).
Learning specialists offer individualized support unique to the student’s needs and level (freshman, sophomore, junior/senior). Therefore, as students progress, they move from working with freshman (1st year), to sophomore (2nd year), and then to junior/senior (3rd year and beyond) learning specialists. If the student’s pace of progress is not satisfactory (e.g., if they fail to complete 24 credit hours per academic year), they may stay with the same level learning specialist for another academic year.
Freshman students meet with their learning specialists for 60 minutes per week – either once or twice (30 minutes each session). Sophomore students meet with their learning specialist for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the need; junior/senior students meet with their learning specialist for 30 minutes.
As educational/developmental mentors, learning specialists:
- Provide academic support by monitoring academic progress, reviewing it with the student, and creating — in collaboration with the student — meaningful interventions in the areas of need;
- Identify, recommend, and assist in the development of compensatory skills and positive habits to improve attendance, participation, assignment completion & submission, use of resources, and communication;
- Build executive function competencies by modeling and coaching students how to monitor performance and act strategically to solve problems and complete tasks;
- Collaborate with faculty to improve student performance; and
- Make referrals to other available and appropriate supports.
As academic and life advisors, learning specialists:
- Help students select a course of study appropriate to their interests, ability, and career goals, including the selection of remedial classes for explicit academic skill development (in collaboration with the faculty);
- Assist students in developing a balanced academic plan;
- Engage students in planning for their future;
- Help students learn more about their learning differences, increase their self-awareness and social & emotional intelligence (esp. as it relates to social norms and conventions when interacting with the faculty, staff, and fellow students in and outside of the classroom);
- Provide framework and tools for effective self-advocacy; and
- In cooperation with other departments, help students resolve and manage conflicts, personal concerns, and life challenges.
Additional mentoring time is available through Open Learning for up to 31 hours per week:
- Morning: Monday through Friday: 10:00 to 1:00 – Beacon Library
- Afternoon: Monday through Thursday: 3:00 to 6:00 – Center for Student Success
- Saturdays: 10:00 to 2:00 – Center for Student Success.
During Open Learning, Beacon students can work either autonomously (using the Library or the Center as the place and the occasion to study) or with others (peers, peer-tutors, or learning specialists).
Junior/senior students are encouraged to also use the newly redesigned Navigator Lounge for their work throughout the day. The Lounge is available:
- Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, and
- Fridays 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
Open learning assures that, no matter how much time, effort, or resources are needed for each student to achieve their objectives, every one of them feels empowered by and supported within the college community. The role of learning specialists, who supervise this forum, is to provide the necessary scaffolds for the students to engage with the course material and practice constructive communication with academic staff and peers. Open Learning expectations are listed below.
During Open Learning, Learning Specialists will:
- discuss strategies for completing assignments,
- answer general questions or help clarify assignments,
- refer to instructors as needed for content-specific questions,
- set up intensive study sessions by helping the student (1) identify realistic goals and rewards, (2) determine the time appropriate for independent learning (20-50 min.), (3) check in with the student to see how they are doing after the predetermined independent learning time in over, (4) remind the student to take a break/reward, and (5) review assignment with the student,
- work with a student to help gain an understanding of the task before independent work (no more than 15 minutes at a time), and
- help students if they have the needed materials.
During Open Learning, Learning specialists will not:
- review or critique every assignment that is due
- review assignments to make sure they are correct or perfect
- provide answers, or
- provide research articles or materials.
Peer-tutors and Teaching Assistants
At Beacon, we have found that students often receive significant benefits from working with others who have experienced similar struggles. That is why College’s peer tutors and teaching assistants are an integral part of the Center for Student Success.
Peer tutors are current Beacon students who excelled in the courses they tutor, have been nominated by faculty, and are trained in effective tutoring strategies prior to and while working with students. Peer tutors provide individual and small group tutoring on a scheduled basis that varies by semester.
Teaching Assistants are also students who have been successful in a class and nominated by a faculty member to assist with that class. While TAs never grade papers or run classes without the professor, they can work on a wide range of other assignments. These include: leading an activity or lab, helping students individually or in small groups, making copies, or taking notes.
Groups and Other Extra-curricular Offerings
The Center for Student Success manages the following groups, clubs, and programs:
- The Equine Program
- The Equestrian Club
- The History Study Group
- The Walking Group
- The Mindfulness Group
- The Grammar Bootcamp
- The Immersive Reading Group
Communication with Parents
To provide the ultimate support to our Beacon parents, we have designed a streamlined system to support them with one point of contact for academic issues and one point of contact for non-academic issues. The Director of the Center for Student Success is the parents’ point of contact for academic questions or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Associate Dean of Students is the parents’ point of contact for non-academic issues such as Housing, Dining, Medical or Counseling Services, and Activities (email@example.com).
To make themselves available to meet with students, learning specialists forward all communication from parents (phone or e-mail) to the appropriate administrator. It is expected that parents’ messages will be responded to within 24-48 hours in most situations. This excludes emergencies, which will be attended to promptly.
The Center for Student Success sends one to four scheduled parent communications a semester (the frequency depends on the student’s level and needs/ academic progress). These communications cover the major areas of academic engagement (attendance, class participation, homework completion/submission, use of supports/resources, and communication). Learning specialists do not report grades or changes in grades to parents: current grades are available in Canvas, mid-term and final grades – in Sonis.
Spring’22 parent communication schedule:
(Wk6 or 2 weeks before the mid-terms)
(Wk10 or 2 weeks after the mid-terms)
|Freshmen and transfer students: first semester||
|Sophomores, juniors, and seniors||Academic warning, past semester GPA below 2.0, at least one class at a C- or below||Previous group plus students with at least one C- or below for mid-terms||All|
|Graduates, students who transfer out, take a leave of absence, or leave College for other reasons||Academic warning, past semester GPA below 2.0, at least one class at a C- or below||Previous group plus students with at least one C- or below for mid-terms|
Hours of Operation
Center for Student Success hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM