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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Classroom Success at the Heart of Changes in Academic Affairs

This semester, the Center for High Impact Practices (CHIP) will be renamed the Office of Academic Success Initiatives and Support (ASIS). The unit, housed in the Student Success Center and led by Executive Director Lisa Mayes '04, is bolstering its mission to support student learning in the classroom.

This change comes in response to a yearlong review and a series of conversations around the publication "Becoming a Student-Ready College" by Tia McNair. Rather than focusing on student preparedness, or lack thereof, McNair explores what institutions can do to become "student-ready." In spring 2021, ODU engaged in a campus-wide, weekly discussion series inviting students, faculty, administrators and staff to serve as panelists exploring the concepts in McNair's book. One way ODU is becoming more student-ready is through improved access to academic success resources and initiatives.

President Brian Hemphill, Ph.D., and Provost Austin Agho have prioritized academic success and the appropriate environment to ensure all ODU students thrive. During the recent Monarch Nation Tour, President Hemphill highlighted the importance of improving the institution's graduation rate and embracing the notion that all students at ODU have the capacity to succeed.

"If we admit students, we have a duty to do all we can to ensure they are successful academically," President Hemphill said. "Academic success is the key to student success and subsequent career success."

Agho, who co-chaired this project funded by the Lumina Foundation, supports the name change.

"While the name CHIP highlighted our commitment to high-impact educational practices and experiential learning, it failed to convey our responsibilities for the coordination, promotion and delivery of tutoring, mentoring, first-generation student support, academic coaching and peer support training," he said. "What we have to offer our students is better represented under the new name - Academic Success Initiatives and Support."

Brian Payne, vice provost for academic affairs, has direct responsibility for the direction of ASIS. This summer, he directed this team to focus more efforts at the sophomore level.

"As we excel as a student-ready university, we must pay close attention to what the data is showing," Payne said. "Whether it is seeking help with courses, needing help with study skills or looking for more-engaging learning experiences, we aim to provide more academic support, programming and direction for our sophomores."

In addition to these critical academic support services, ASIS will continue to provide ODU students with transformational academic success initiatives, such as LeADERS, Impact Learning Communities, ePortfolio and Digital Initiatives, TRIO program, and the new INNOVATE Monarchs and Themester programs.

Mayes and her team are excited about the new name and direction of the unit.

"The Lumina project has been a tremendous epiphany for me and my staff," she said. "Every student has a goal they want to achieve - big or small. Our commitment is to help them meet that goal - whether it is passing a course, getting connected with research or figuring out the tutoring schedule. Our work is to be there to keep the student moving in the direction toward graduation. I believe each step toward success is a win for the Monarch Nation."

To learn more about how ASIS contributes to academic success, visit www.odu.edu/asis.

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