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Parent donations fund Center for Academic Success

In its continuing efforts to improve and expand its student services, the Office of Academic Support opened the Center for Academic Success on Aug. 29. The new Center was made possible through the generous financial support of Lehigh parents, administrators say.

“What makes our Center for Academic Success unique is the fact that it was entirely funded by parent donations,” says John Smeaton, associate vice president of Student Affairs. “We believe that parents are key partners in the educational development of our students – they saw a need and helped us to fulfill it.”

Susan Lantz, associate dean of academic support, says the office assists students with services and programs that are designed to help them succeed in the classroom.

“Our new Center for Academic Success will allow us to continue to collaborate with Lehigh faculty to help our students reach their full potential through a centralized, state-of-the-art facility with enhanced resources and technology,” Lantz says.

The Office of Academic Support Services assists thousands of undergraduate students annually with services and programs such as academic counseling and monitoring, peer tutoring, writing, math and study skills support, first year academic support, and mentoring programs for students on academic probation. The office also ensures “reasonable accommodations” to students who are substantially limited by a diagnosed disability through its Support Services for Students with Disabilities.

The Center, formerly UC room 403, includes a computer lab for tutorials and lounges, as well as conference space for study sessions, tutoring sessions and meetings.

Kelly Grim, a Lehigh alumna and former adjunct English instructor, heads the new Center. Grim, a biochemistry and English major, returned to Lehigh in 1999 after working a year-and-a-half sequencing DNA at Human Genome Sciences in Maryland. After deciding she was ready for a new academic challenge, Grim returned to South Bethlehem to pursue her master’s degree in English. She became a teaching fellow during her graduate years, eventually becoming an adjunct instructor of English.

“After teaching for three years, I realized that the best part of my job was working with students and helping them to learn,” says Grim, Center for Academic Success coordinator. “Managing the center will be exciting and challenging.”

Grim hopes to create a welcoming environment where students can receive the help they need and feel supported. “The center will house our expanding tutoring program, with three graduate student staff tutors and peer tutors holding group and individual tutoring sessions,” Grim says. “We’ll also be holding a weekly series of study skills workshops, with topics determined by student needs.”

Grim believes her teaching experience, coupled with her familiarity with Lehigh academic programs, will help her in her new job. Her faculty position will also allow her the unique perspective of both student and teacher.

“A part of my job is going to be reaching out to faculty and developing relationships with them,” she says. “Knowing the faculty perspective will help me to make our center a teaching and academic counseling facility that professors will feel comfortable enough with to send their students.”

For more information, visit the Center for Academic Success online.

Hours of operation are:
Sunday: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

--Sarah Cooke

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

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