Welcome to the new academic year! I do hope you that each enjoyed a restorative summer. To our new faculty and graduate students who will be teaching, I want to extend a special welcome. The Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUGS) very much looks forward to our continued partnerships with you as together we work to support our students’ academic success.
With this newsletter, the OUGS team’s goal is simple: we encourage you to promote to your students the Centers for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS)—that is the Academic Success Center, Language Learning Center, Math Lab, STEM Student Success Center, and Writing Center—as appropriate in your courses. To assist, see the red box below with suggested language for your syllabi and Cougar Course containers.
Why? Check-out the video below! National and campus research show us that learning centers staffed by trained peer educators move the dial on students’ academic success. Peers are powerful complements to classroom instruction (e.g., Topping, K.J., 1996, 1998, 2005; Colvin, J.W., 2007; Corbett, LaFrance, and Decker, 2014). Last year, CSUSM students made more than 48,0000 visits to the centers. And we welcome more! On our campus, students who make five or more visits to a center during a semester tend to earn higher grades.
To those of you teaching first-year students, our campus research shows us that students’ academic success in the first semester is the most powerful predictor of graduation. Thank you for helping your students learn how to make participation in CLASS a habit. It is sure to serve them well.
Academic success requires engaged classroom learning plus support! Thank you to each of you for encouraging your students to experience the power of peer-supported learning on their journeys to graduation.
Cheers to an engaging year ahead,
ATTN FACULTY: Would you like to include language in your syllabi for one or more of the learning success centers? Check out our language suggestions!
Over the past year, OUGS expanded its support for CSUSM students’ academic success thanks in large part to grants, several of which were faculty-led. We invite you to meet our newest staff who have joined us this past year.
Jackie Duerr, M.Ed.
Senior Co-Director of CLASS, Professional Programs, Humanities, Arts, Behavior and Social Sciences (PPHABSS)
Director, Academic Success Center
Suzanne Hizer, Ed.D.
Senior Co-Director of CLASS; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics (STEM)
Director, STEM Student Success Center
Content hereI am a proud CSUSM alumna who came to campus in 1997 and never left! I have held many jobs on this campus as a researcher, lecturer, and staff. I love CSUSM and our shared dedication to student success.
Evan Smith, M.A.
Director, Writing Center
Sarah Gomez, M.S.
STEM Student Success Coordinator & McNair Student Advisor
Francine Singson, B.S.
STEM AmeriCorps VISTA, STEM Student Success Center
Ashley Gragido, M.Ed.
Student Success Facilitator, Office of Undergraduate Studies
Tasos Lazarides, Ph.D.
Academic Innovation Specialist, Office of Undergraduate Studies
I am from Cyprus, a tiny island half-a-world away. I have a Ph.D. in literature, a degree and training in engineering, and I have been working as a mobile gaming journalist, experiences that allow me to help students explore interdisciplinary pathways.
Contact Tasos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray Malforvan-Borja, Ph.D.
TRIO McNair Project Coordinator, TRIO McNair Scholars Program