Photo fo Students Group Studying in PAC Lounge

Student Success at McKendree

Whether you’re gearing up to start college for the first time or you’re already experiencing all the ups and downs of life as a college student, there comes a time when we could all use a helping hand. New this year to McKendree, the Student Success & Advising Center is your one-stop shop for assistance in tutoring, planning your academic schedule, adjusting to college life, and so much more.



Convenient, Caring Assistance

The center opened in July 2016 as a way to consolidate a wide variety of services offered across campus and make it easier for students to get what they need. McKendree’s small campus community is the perfect environment for individualized assistance, and the Success Center’s director, two student success mentors, and nine peer tutors bring a level of personal care and dedication that’s become an essential part of the McKendree experience.

Their new location on Stanton Street is situated right next to the Health Services Office and Writing Center, creating an easy-to-find service row for students seeking assistance in everything from professional counseling to writing a paper for class. And the best part? The center’s services are open to all students free of charge!

“Our mission is to help students reach their full potential,” says Success Mentor Marcy Bitner. “I like to say I help students find their grit or self-efficacy. No matter what phase of life you’re in, there are times when life is hard. Maybe you don’t like your roommate, or that class turned out to be harder than you expected, or you’re having issues with family, finances, or a relationship. We connect students with the right organization or resources, and we take the time to check up on them. Our job is to help them find their place in life by giving them the responsibility as adults and guiding them through what their tomorrow will look like.”



Mentoring Services

Sometimes you just need someone to turn to for advice who’s gone through it all before. “Our mentoring services definitely seem to be the most popular among students,” says Associate Dean for Student Success Jennifer Miller. “It’s normal to struggle at different times in college, and we’re here to help with each of those challenges.”

Photo of Students in ClassThe center’s success mentors can provide you with academic advising in addition to your faculty advisor. Choosing a major, registering for classes, and planning out a course schedule to ensure you graduate on time are all areas in which students typically seek assistance from a trusted mentor with a wealth of prior experience.

Need help learning to better manage your time between a full class load and practice schedule? Your success mentor can sit down with you and create a plan to reduce your stressful time constraints. Looking to find your place in student life on campus? Your success mentor can show you what personal growth and involvement opportunities are available.

With a host of resources at their fingertips, the Success Center staff can also guide you to the right person to answer your unique needs. If you’re struggling in a relationship or are dealing with other stressful life situations, your success mentor can guide you to campus services dedicated to your wellbeing, such as health services, counseling services or the Center for Faith and Spirituality.

“We’ve found that parents feel more comfortable knowing someone outside the classroom and outside of a coach is looking in on their son or daughter,” says Bitner.

Quotation Graphic“Many students need help with the transition of growing into college, and I’m one more person who’s here professionally guiding them into adulthood.”



Student-to-Student Tutoring and Testing Center

Photo of Student Writing in NotebookPeer tutoring is another way the Student Success Center provides extra help for students in a full range of academic subjects. Flexible hours and a variety of student tutors make it easy to schedule time for help with a particular assignment or series of concepts in any number of courses. The facility’s Testing Center also gives students a convenient way to make up tests or quizzes at a time that fits their schedule.

Kristyn Tully '19 is a mathematics major on the actuarial science track. She was already a tutor at Mathnasium in O’Fallon when her McKendree professor suggested she join the Student Success Center.

Quotation Graphic“I love helping people understand math, so it seemed like a natural extra job for me.”

Kristyn works with students on homework and helps them review for tests. Her broad scope of knowledge and skill for making complex material more understandable enables her to tutor students in any math class at McKendree. “The Success Center has really impacted the students I tutor because it’s a free resource that helps them succeed in classes they’re struggling in,” she said. “It’s also helped me manage my time better.”

Kristyn isn’t the only tutor who has witnessed firsthand the center’s benefits. Psychology major Safiya Atkinson '17 helps students learn to improve their writing skills in psychology classes.

Quotation Graphic“Just the fact that a student is helping another student allows for a more comfortable learning environment.” 

Similarly, in tutoring her fellow chemistry students, Himani Patel '18 discovered that the encouragement she provides on a peer level makes a big difference too.

Quotation Graphic“Sometimes they just need a little motivation to get them through the course.”



Disability Services and Individual Support

No matter what your service needs, the staff of the Student Success Center are here to ensure you have the best McKendree experience possible. They provide a voice for students with disabilities and work one-on-one with them to offer accommodations that create a more conducive learning environment.

Many students come to McKendree from another country or are the first in their family to attend college. The center recognizes the unique needs of first generation and international students and is committed to offering individual support for those adjusting to college life on all levels.

So when you’re unsure where to turn or just need to know that someone cares, stop by the Student Success & Advising Center at Clark Hall, Lower Level to find out how they can assist you today!



Make It McKendree