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Academic Resource Center

Apr 17, 2024

Natasha Eidson

OPSU’s Academic Resource Center Empowering Student Success

At OPSU, students are not just numbers; they are individuals with unique goals and aspirations. Central to OPSU’s mission of “Progress Through Knowledge” is the Academic Resource Center (ARC), a vital university resource dedicated to supporting students on their academic and personal journeys within a nurturing community environment.

The ARC’s mission is to support faculty in empowering students to achieve their academic and personal goals. “We make it a priority to meet students where they are and teach them lifelong skills,” says ARC Coordinator, MaKenze Anderson. “We want to serve as a friendly face to all students in the midst of both their struggles and their success.” This mission is realized through a range of services aimed at enhancing student success, including peer mentoring, mental health counseling, accommodating disabilities, online tutoring, navigational support, the testing center, and career services.

Peer mentoring is a cornerstone of the ARC’s support services. Freshmen receive weekly support and guidance from peer mentors who understand the challenges of transitioning to university life. This personalized approach fosters a sense of community and provides valuable mentorship to new students.

In today’s digital age, access to resources is essential for academic success. Through, students have access to 24/7 online tutoring, ensuring assistance is available whenever they need it. Additionally, the ARC offers navigational support to students, helping them navigate textbooks, Canvas, and other academic resources.

Inclusivity and support extend to every student, including those with disabilities. Laci Unruh and Robert Crawley, the dedicated professionals behind disability services, embody the ARC’s commitment to ensuring access and support for all students.

Robert Crawley, the Disability Coordinator, works tirelessly to facilitate access both inside and outside the classroom. He meets with students individually to review documentation and approve reasonable accommodations, ensuring that every student can thrive academically. Moreover, as one of the central advisors for students from the College of Arts and Education, he provides invaluable guidance and support throughout their academic journey.

In addition to Mr. Crawley’s pivotal role, Laci Unruh, the Counseling Coordinator, offers a compassionate and welcome space for students to address their mental health needs. With an open-door policy and a genuine desire to support students, Laci provides support for those feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious. Her revolving door is a sign of the ARC’s commitment to holistic student well-being, ensuring no student’s needs go unnoticed or unaddressed. Together, Laci and Robert exemplify the ARC’S mission to empower every student to succeed, regardless of their challenges or circumstances.

The ARC also houses a testing center where students can take proctored exams. This includes accommodation testing for students with unique needs, ensuring all students have equal opportunities to succeed. Additionally, the ARC serves as a Pearson VUE Testing Center for various certifications, including CEOE, EMT, GED, Real Estate, and more, catering not only to students but also to community members.
Beyond academic and disability services, the ARC collaborates with employers to build career paths for students. Events like Aggie Career Connections facilitate networking and job opportunities, helping students prepare for life beyond graduation.

Collaboration is key to the ARC’s approach in supporting student learning and achievement. Tools like Dropout Detective allow the ARC to identify struggling students early on and provide timely support, ensuring no student falls through the cracks. The ARC also assists faculty in administering make-up exams in the testing center, ensuring students have opportunities to excel academically.

Looking ahead, the ARC is committed to expanding and enhancing its support for OPSU students. With a student-centered approach, the ARC aims to meet students where they are and equip them with lifelong skills. By serving as a friendly and reliable resource throughout their academic journey, the ARC embodies OPSU’s dedication to empowering individuals to thrive in their pursuits of knowledge and beyond.

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