Excel centers should exist for higher level courses on campus

October 03, 2016

Dillon Taunton

dtaunton@uccs.edu

     As potential new students follow guides around campus, they are told that excel centers are in place for students to go to when they are struggling with classes and need help.

     Although the excel centers can help students in lowerdivision courses understand their classes, the centers do not always provide adequate assistance to upperdivision students.

     Jerry Phillips, director of the Excel Science Center, said the aim of these centers is to help freshmen.

“The mission of the Excel Centers is to increase freshman retention. Our funding comes from Student Success and we operate in conjunction with the Office of Retention, our focus is on students in freshman classes.” said Phillips.

     “We do not get any money to help with upper division courses (at the Science Center),” he said.

     The focus of excel centers should not just be on introduction courses. All courses should be considered when thinking of success and retention of students.

     “If we had more money we could do more things. We could hire more staff and expand programs, within reason anyhow,” said Phillips.

     The amount of money given to the excel centers should not be determined on the assistance given to freshmen, but the success of all levels of students. There should be a budget to help students within introduction level courses as well as upper division, advanced courses.

     It is unfair for the excel centers to be solicited as helpful through the entire collegiate experience, only to be forgotten as soon as your junior year.

     In conjunction with the amount of money each center receives, there is a sizable space limitation placed on most of the excel centers that would also improve if they had more space.

     “The excel math center needs more square footage; the excel writing center, the excel communication center both need more square footage. They are really limited by the amount of space that they have,” said Phillips.

     Due to a lack of assisting students enrolled in upper division courses, students in their upper-division courses are forced to turn elsewhere for tutoring needs.

     This limits the potential that the excel centers can have for all students. Students are told these places would assist us throughout our collegiate careers.