The College recently appointed Wanda Anderson and Ivonne Cruz as new members to the expanding Academic Services office, which will include the Center for Academic Success (CAS).
The new office will be comprised of CAS, the Equal Opportunity Fund program (EOF) and the Academic and Career Enhancement program (ACE).
Ivonne Cruz, who previously worked for EOF as a program specialist for the schools of Culture and Society and Art, Media, and Music, will be coordinate the student mentoring and leadership program as well as provide supplemental academic advising. She will also facilitate the CAS developmental workshops and seminars and will report to Anderson.
“The CAS will be available for all students who want to increase their academic success,” Cruz said. “There will be a campus-wide e-mail sent out with a survey attached to get a better sense of what the campus needs are so we (Anderson and Cruz) can address what the student population feels is needed, not just what we assume is needed.”
“We also hope to advertise our services and new location in The Signal next semester,” Cruz said. “We are also discussing the creation of a Student Board of Advisors for the Center to maintain a constant reflection of student feedback.”
A 1994 graduate of the College, she has also been an admissions counselor and an assistant director in human resources at the College in addition to her more recent position as an EOF program specialist.
“The new Center will provide services targeted to design and enhance leadership. It will also advise students that are not connected with EOF and ACE and allow them to seek academic advisement,” James Boatwright, director of the EOF program said.
The CAS program will be an extenuation of the ACE program. Cruz said that the program is still being changed to accommodate new ideas.
“We have a general vision of the Center for Academic Success (CAS), but we clearly understand that student input is needed to fully assess what the (the College’s) students feel their needs and wants are and therefore tailor the Center to satisfy those needs,” she said.
Glendale Barrios, junior nursing major, said the academic services office needs to focus more on tutoring. “Students don’t know that if they are having a hard time there is a place for them to get help,” she said. “It doesn’t appeal to students and they are not comfortable asking for help. The office needs more publicity so people know that these programs are there to help them.”
Cruz said her new job is an extension of her work with the EOF program. “There are many similarities between the two jobs. In EOF, I serve as a supplemental academic advisor to EOF students as well as provide academic, career, emotional and financial aid counseling,” she said. “My EOF cohort will continue to get those services from the new EOF Program Specialist that will be hired to replace me, but I will now offer those same services to those who come to the Center for Academic Success.”
“Part of my new duties will also now include the coordination of the Student Mentoring & Leadership (SML) Program. The SML Program is a new, expanded version of the program formally known as the Minority Mentoring Program. Again, this is another work in progress,” Cruz added.
Cruz said that the program is intended to help students achieve academic success. “We would hope that CAS would positively influence students to purposefully and actively seek out a plan toward academic success. We hope to serve as a resource toward that goal. We do not intend to duplicate the services of other offices on campus, but to partner with them to address the needs of the students,” she said.
“This is a very exciting endeavor and I hope that all the students of TCNJ take advantage of the opportunities that CAS will be making available to them,” Cruz added.