Traditionally, college students are assigned an academic advisor when they enroll as freshmen. Advisors help students create their class schedule, fulfill their degree requirements, plan for graduation, and access academic resources. At Ball State, every student is assigned an academic advisor and required to meet with them once a semester until they graduate.

But, sometimes, issues arise and students are unsure of whom to ask for help. They might feel uncomfortable talking with their professor or advisor, and unclear how their issue can be resolved. This is where Ball State’s Student Success Centers come in.

Student success centers at universities are new initiatives in higher education that aim to help students overcome any obstacle on their way to graduation. They represent a shift in how institutions care for students and prepare them for graduation, employment, and beyond.

Student Success Solutions

To help students resolve academic or personal issues and stay on track to graduate, Ball State launched Student Success Centers in each of its major colleges this year. Student Success Centers are designed to triage any issue that a student may encounter by both directly talking and working with the student, and connecting that student to the appropriate resource across the University. The College of Sciences and Humanities Success Hub, located in North Quad 160, is the new go-to success resource for any College of Sciences and Humanities (CSH) major.

To best serve students, the CSH Success Hub hosts a physical space in North Quad for students to find resources, programming, and support. It also runs an online space for students to connect to resources and services and maintains a network of campus collaborators dedicated to student success.

In its first year, the CSH Success Hub has hosted networking events, job fairs, new student programs, and career information sessions.

Dr. Melisa Stevens, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Success, oversees the CSH Success Hub with the assistance of a team of graduate assistants and undergraduate Success Ambassadors. Dr. Stevens graduated from Ball State in 1991 and received her Doctorate in Education from Indiana University in 2006. She returned to campus in November 2022 to create the CSH Success Hub and develop a plan for improving student retention and success in the College of Sciences and Humanities.

Impacting Our Students

Assisting our students takes time, effort, and financial resources. Generous donors and alumni can contribute to the CSH Student Success Fund at the Ball State Foundation, making a positive impact on students today and embodying the spirit of Beneficence.

Christy and Jim Jacobi, inspired by the Our Call to Benefience Campaign and the desire to make a difference in students’ lives, recently contributed a major gift to the College of Sciences and Humanities to establish the Student Success Fund, which will be used to provide academic and career planning support for CSH students.

Christy, a 1994 chemistry alumna, currently serves as the Director of Operations for the Washington Township Schools Foundation in Indianapolis, which provides scholarships and opportunities to students and recent graduates of North Central High School. As a student success professional herself, Christy witnessed the difficulties students face in their transition to college.

“When I see kids go to bigger universities, they’re a little more lost as freshmen,” Christy said. “What I’m so proud of about Ball State is that’s what they focus on—that student experience and relationship.”

Success initiatives make a difference. Generous donors like the Jacobi’s help students navigate college, make smarter decisions, and prepare for careers after college.

“Christy’s generous gift allows the College of Sciences and Humanities to support each student’s unique needs, and to provide programs and events that extend students’ learning and development beyond the classroom, ultimately giving them a well-rounded education that prepares them for their chosen professions,” Dr. Stevens said. “One way we do this each semester is by bringing alumni back to campus to share their professional experiences and journeys. We also continue to develop career development events and targeted career/major specific job fairs that meet students where they are in their time at Ball State.”

To help students across campus, Ball State University launched the Our Call to Beneficence: The Campaign for Ball State University this year. The College of Sciences and Humanities needs more generous donors like Christy to support our students and enable them to graduate, have fulfilling careers, lead meaningful lives, and fly higher than they ever imagined.

Consider donating to the CSH Student Success Fund and the Campaign for Ball State University today and heed our Call to Beneficence.