Center for Student Success

Center for Student Success

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, as well as academic and life advisors. 

Every student is assigned to a learning specialist at the time of matriculation to Beacon College: first-time students 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 need 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.

Learning Specialists

Educational & Developmental Mentoring

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.

Academic and Life Advising

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 courses 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
  • Help students resolve and manage conflicts, personal concerns, and life challenges.

Open Learning

Additional mentoring time is available through Open Learning for up to 20 hours per week. Every Monday through Thursday 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM and on Saturdays between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Beacon students can come to the Center for Student Success to work — either autonomously or with others (peers, peer-tutors, or learning specialists). 

Junior/senior students are encouraged to also use the Senior Lounge for their work throughout the day. Senior Lounge is available Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM and on Fridays 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. 

Open learning assures that, no matter how much time, effort, or resources are needed for each individual student to achieve their own 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 formative 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 goals and rewards, (2) determine the time appropriate for independent learning (20-50 min.), (3) check in with the student to see how he/she is 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 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 specialist 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 very successful in a class and have been 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

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 (centerforstudentsuccess@beaconcollege.edu). 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 (oses@beaconcollege.edu). 

In order make themselves available to meet with students, learning specialists are forwarding 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 level and the needs of the student/their 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. 

Fall’21 parent communication schedule:

Onboarding

(Wk3)

Pre-mid-term

(Wk6 or 2 weeks before the mid-terms)

Post-mid-term

(Wk10 or 2 weeks after the mid-terms)

Post-final*

First year at Beacon Freshmen

Fall

ALL

ALL

ALL

ALL

Spring

ALL

ALL

ALL

Sophomores and/or second year at Beacon

Fall

ALL

ALL

ALL

Spring

Students on academic warning/probation, with past semester GPA below 2.0, with at least one class below a C-, and first-semester transfers

The same group of students as pre-mid-terms PLUS those who got at least one C- at mid-terms

ALL

Juniors/seniors and/or third/fourth years at Beacon

Fall

Students on academic warning/probation, with past semester GPA below 2.0, with at least one class below a C-

The same group of students as pre-mid-terms PLUS those who got at least one C- at mid-terms

ALL

Spring

Students on academic warning/probation, with past semester GPA below 2.0, with at least one class below a C-

The same group of students as pre-mid-terms PLUS those who got at least one C- at mid-terms

ALL

Hours of Operation

The Center for Success Services is open during the following hours:

Monday: 8:30 AM-7 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM-7 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM-7 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM-7 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM-4 PM
Saturday: 10 AM- 2 PM