Samantha Pryor/Mustang News

The Mustang Success Center is accessible, helps students change majors and provides programming for overall achievement.

The new Mustang Success Center isn’t just year-old idea that has come to fruition. It has been years in the making as a result of input from students and other staff members, according to academic adviser Carly Head.

“What we were noticing is that students can get lost on a college campus easily,” she said. “What we really promote is that if students don’t know where to go, to start with us.”

The structure of the Mustang Success Center is aimed to serve freshmen, sophomores and first-year transfers; however, no student will be turned away if they need assistance, Head said.

“They can just stop in,” she said. “It is really designed to help students with those quick, drop-in questions: how to navigate our campus and talk to the right people.”

The center is not strictly based on academic curriculum or concentrations, but instead focuses on the idea of “troubleshooting,” Mustang Success Center Director Shannon Stephens said.

“A quarter system moves very quickly,” he said. “The faster that we can help students get their questions answered, the less stress that will be on them.”

There are different ways students can utilize the Mustang Success Center as a tool for success:

1. Flexibility and easy access

Advisors are reaching out to students, not waiting for students to come to them. By visiting numerous on-campus residence halls — Sierra Madre, Yosemite, Cerro Vista and the Poly Canyon Village apartments, to name a few — they answer questions and help educate students navigating Cal Poly, Stephens said.

The center is open from eight in the morning till seven at night.

“Extending advising hours is going to be really appealing to students,” Head said.

2. Changing majors

During Week of Welcome, Stephens conducted eight change of major workshops. When he asked students how many thought it was impossible to change their major, he was astounded at the results.

“I guarantee that 50 percent of hands went up,” he said. “And at least 30 percent of students change their major at least once. Those are the ones that are successful.”

3. Resource education programs

Through certain programming, such as the Freshman Success Center and developing sophomore and transfer success programs, students can use proactive approaches to help them get back on track. These programs had no home before the Mustang Success Center was open, Stephens said.

“It rested on the shoulders of whoever volunteered to do it,” he said. “With the Mustang Success Center, that program is the responsibility of the center.”

Further programs include PASS (Plan a Student Schedule) parties where the center will teach students how to properly use tools of registration such as PASS and the student center. The center is already planning 15 PASS parties, Stephens said.

For materials engineering freshman Josh Ledgerwood, the center gives students a feeling that the school is trying to help people.

“I think it enhances Cal Poly because it’s one of the many things they offer,” he said. “They are looking out for our success.”

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