LAL rebrands as Student Success Center

The Student Success Center has various tables and computers open for student use. There are also isolated tables and desks located in the Success Center where students can privately take tests (Photo by Jerry Meade).

The Student Success Center’s main goal is proactivity for the success of the student.

Previously known as the Learning Assistance Lab, or LAL, the center has recently been rebranded into this new division, all made possible through the funding of the DTE Energy Foundation.

Programs offered by the Student Success Center include tutoring, writing assistance, testing areas and disability services.

Kristine Gerlach, Disability Services Coordinator, said being located in the new Founders Hall brings many advantages. The area has larger amounts of space for testing, offices and waiting rooms designed for confidentiality. First floor access for accessibility is another factor Gerlach said helps the Disability Services in their new location.

The department is also willing to hold appointments and provide assistance through an online setting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Success Center had to adapt and adopt new ways of learning and different forms of accessibility.

The Student Success Center has been individually designed for the student and their needs. Scott Behrens, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success, and Quri Wygonik, director of Institutional Research, Planning and Accreditation, have worked to make MCCC a data-oriented institution.

Statistics have been organized in regards to dropout and success rates across Monroe County and the state of Michigan. Comparing the two and factoring in certain demographics has allowed the Student Success Center to personalize each student’s experience.

MCCC student Ethan Harbaugh, prepares for his tutoring appointment to begin in the Student Success Center (Photo by Delaney Vanover).

After studying statistical trends, the center can reach out to students and the services they see fit for the individual. This includes previous students who left before completing their degree.

Contact is made through success coaches who act as navigators or facilitators, most possessing counseling degrees.

“Colleges have one product — diplomas and certificates,” Behrens said. “That product changes lives.”

First generation graduates can bring a new hope to families, and that is what the Student Success Center seeks, he said.

The primary function of the Student Success Center is to provide students with the aid necessary to complete courses without worry of stigmas associated with learning struggles. Through proactivity the service can communicate with students and instructors to provide any assistance needed in classes.

The atmosphere of the Student Success Center is designed to be a safe place and connection toward success for students at MCCC.

The SSC tutors are fellow students themselves. Student and tutor Ethan Harbaugh said it is easier to reach out to students rather than professors because they understand what other students are going through.

Students are encouraged by the Student Success Center staff to take advantage of this opportunity and visit at the first sight of a struggle. All workers are eager to assist to the best of their abilities, and give each students an equal opportunity to succeed.