Photo: Tina Gustavis is one of the coaches who works with students in the Office of Student Success. The Office of Student Success is now located in the basement of Nelson Hall.
This year, Mississippi College’s Office of Student Success has undergone a process of revitalization designed to help them better serve students on campus and increase students’ awareness of the resources available to them.
Formerly housed on the third floor of Nelson Hall, the Office of Student Success has recently relocated to the basement of Nelson following the relocation of Admissions to Alumni Hall. The Office of Student Success now shares the former Admissions area with Career Services and other similar departments. This move afforded these departments more space, and their proximity is beneficial as they now work together.
“We all work together as much as we can, we support each other, and we’re all here for the students,” said Student Success Coach Tina Gustavis.
Gustavis works in the Office of Student Success alongside Dr. Stephanie Carmicle, the Assistant Provost for Student Success, and two trained peer coaches. The Student Success coaches work with students who are struggling academically or may need assistance in areas such as note-taking strategies, time management, or working well with peers. The Office of Student Success also partners with a number of other departments on campus including Career Services and the Writing Center in order to connect students with resources to help them succeed academically and holistically.
To further assist students, the Office of Student Success has put on a series of skill-building workshops over the course of the semester. Topics included note-taking strategies, nutrition and learning, stress management and test anxiety, financial decision-making, and journaling for setting goals.
Another notable workshop dealt with grief and loss. “During COVID a lot of students have lost family members, they’ve lost friends, neighbors, and they’re just struggling with their academics due to anxiety. So we conducted a presentation on grief counseling, and our counseling services here on campus did an outstanding job with that presentation,” said Gustavis.
Another new development, Gustavis explained, is that the Office of Student Success is working with the MC athletic department to put on workshops for student-athletes to make them more aware of the resources available to them on campus.
Beyond the skill-building workshops, all students are encouraged to visit the Office of Student Success in the Nelson basement, whether they need academic assistance or simply someone to talk to. “This is not just for certain students at MC; this is for all Mississippi College students,” said Gustavis.
Student Success has resources and strategies which students can use both inside and outside of the classroom, and they are a great place to go for students wanting to change their major or undecided about their major.
Even if a student is simply having a bad day and does not feel like going to class, Gustavis said, “You can stop by Student Success and we can talk and just come up with ways that you can feel better about going to class and being on time and dealing with time management and working together with your peers in the dorm. It goes as far as learning how to meet new friends here on campus.”
Gustavis concluded, “We just want students to know that we are here and the resources are available to them, and we will be excited to see them here.”