Published on Sep. 25, 2017
Updated on Nov. 14, 2018
Since 1995, Academic Retention Services (ARS) has worked on behalf of Mizzou to promote the success of students from the time of acceptance into MU through graduation. While that has not changed, the name of the office has changed to better encapsulate that mission.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, ARS unveiled a new name: The Center for Academic Success and Excellence (CASE).
“While we are proud of the role our office has played in the strong retention rates at MU, we feel that we are much more than a retention resources,” says Donell Young, director of the Center for Academic Success and Excellence. “We have programs and services that aid students in a multitude of ways both in the classroom and beyond. Our new name better captures all that our office does.”
CASE provides workshops, positive mentor relationships and access to resources that enhance students’ personal development and academic success. The office primarily supports the persistence and graduation of underrepresented students at MU, but welcomes and encourages all Mizzou students to take part in its services.
CASE provides a variety of programming, including:
- Cohort for Academic Success and Excellence Scholars Program fosters mentoring relationships and provides learning opportunities that support students’ academic enrichment, financial literacy and a sense of belonging.
- MAP is designed to provide second, third and fourth year students avenues to engage with critical academic and support services, attend workshops and events and participate in activities at MU.
- Peer Undergraduate Mentoring Program is a collaborative effort with the MU Honors College and Fellowships Office that connects underclassmen with upperclassmen in mentee-mentor relationships that can contribute to students’ sense of belonging, well-being and overall student success.
- Summer Transition Program is an eight-week program that provides an academic learning community that bridges the gap between high school and college. The program offers first-year, first-time college students the opportunity to enroll in general education courses, participate in a residential living experience and utilize campus resources to accelerate their success at MU.
- Undergraduate Success* Program is for high-achieving first-year students who are interested in academic and leadership enrichment. A collaborative effort with the MU Honors College, this program allows students grow to become holistic citizens both as part of the MU community and globally through peer mentor relationship and on-going developmental opportunities.
- Study Abroad-Jamaica is the first study abroad program established that is geared specifically towards underrepresented and underserved MU students and is in collaboration with the Department of Black Studies and the English Department.
“Academic Retention Services has been more than just an office for me, but a home away from home,” says MU senior Bobbi Watts, “I have no doubt in my mind that this office, although changing its name, will remain authentic in helping students to become better scholars, leaders and community influencers.”
In addition to the previously mentioned programs, CASE offers numerous services designed to promote students success and are tailored to meet the specific needs of each student. CASE services include:
- Mid-Semester Progress Checks require students to complete a progress check that assesses how they are doing in their courses at the midpoint of the fall and spring semesters.
- MU Connect is the campus student tracking, early alert, appointment scheduling and retention application that supports student success and engagement.
- Individualized Coaching aims to build relationships between students and CASE staff members, providing a space conducive to nurturing students’ academic, personal and professional development and empowering students with tools to help them be successful.
- Success Planning provides students an opportunity to develop an action plan to improve and/or enhance their academic performance and reach their goals.
- Scholarship Appeals give students going through the scholarship appeals process the opportunity to work with a CASE staff member to create and track success goals, which are critical in the appeal process.
CASE also hosts numerous events throughout the academic year, including workshops on topics that included wellness, mental wellness, student leadership, student involvement, student engagement and financial literacy.
“The list of ways in which the Center for Academic Success and Excellence supports our students continues to grow,” says Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies. “Not only does the office provide access to numerous resources to help students excel while at Mizzou, but it also helps students feel at home. The CASE staff cares about the students it serves and is committed to helping each and every student succeed.”
As part of CASE’s mission, the office also manages four diversity related scholarship offered at MU.
“As we celebrate a new era with this new name, we remain committed to the mission that has been successful since our office was founded,” Young says. “We will continue to support students by providing workshops, services and support to enhance the personal development of students at Mizzou.”
The Center for Academic Success and Excellence is located of the first floor of the Student Success Center on Lowry Mall.