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Pitt undergraduate students have a new place to access mentoring, academic advising and other support resources: the Student Success Hub. A Nov. 8 grand opening celebration in 217 Langley Hall corresponds with the University’s recognition of National First-Generation College Celebration Day.
The mission driving the Student Success Hub is to eliminate equity gaps for promising students and build a campus where everyone can feel they belong, according to April Belback, director of undergraduate advising and mentoring in the Office of the Provost – Undergraduate Studies.
“When I think about at-promise students, our main focus is first-generation college students, students with limited income or Pell-eligible students and underrepresented minority student populations,” she said, “but all students are welcome.”
A student success team, convened by the Office of the Provost to help shape the initiative, collaborated with many divisions and offices across Pitt and included student representatives.
“I am most excited about Pitt offering a truly inclusive and engaging space where students can go to with all their academic and personal development-related needs,” said Rohit Naguluri, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration and one of three student advisors of the initiative.
[From first-generation to graduation, thanks to TRIO]
The first two significant efforts to be housed within the hub are the Kessler Scholars Program and the TRIO McNair Scholars program. The Kessler Scholars program includes student financial support and cohort-based services to first-generation, limited-income students throughout their four-year college experience. The TRIO McNair Scholars program provides a rich diversity of structured educational experiences that are designed to motivate, prepare and support first-generation, limited-income and underrepresented minority college students in their efforts to pursue postbaccalaureate degrees.
“The Student Success Hub is designed with a holistic framework in mind,” said Belback. “The hub, in addition to student support, provides space where campus collaborations can happen. It’s a place where faculty and staff can come together and share insights and best practices with the goal of uplifting students,” she said.
“Being a student is stressful, especially if you have other commitments simultaneously,” said Naguluri, who’s majoring in finance and business information systems. “Just having that lifeline to go to with any questions or concerns means a lot when a student may be dealing with stress or confusion, whether that be related to their academics, post-collegiate life or beyond.”
Ultimately, the new space is a place of connection, Belback said — a place where students can feel at home in a large institution.
All are welcome to join the grand opening of the Student Success Hub on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 3-6 p.m. in Room 217 of Langley Hall.
— Nichole Faina, photography by Tom Altany