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Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center First-Generation Initiative Rotunda Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

First-Gen Feature: Caroline Madrid

First-generation college students must overcome unique obstacles to be successful in college. Every obstacle comes with a story worth hearing. First-Gen Feature is a chance for first-generation college students to showcase their stories. Caroline Madrid, a first-year student shares what being first-gen means to her.

Q: What was your motivation for pursuing college?

A: My motivation for pursuing college was simply just to make my grandpa proud, he was a very smart man and he always inspired me to pursue my dreams. My parents were also another motivation, my parents worked really hard my entire childhood to provide for me and my siblings, and being able to return the favor was really important for me.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: My career goal is to make it as a lawyer and ultimately raise a happy family. As a first-gen, I’ve watched my parents work tirelessly every day to provide for me and my family and even today, they continue to work hard so I can be here. I want to not only release this burden off their shoulders but work hard for my future family.

Q: What extracurricular activities are you involved In and how do you manage course load and other aspects of life?

A: I have two jobs and Rotunda scholars where I have monthly and weekly requirements. The best way I have found to manage my courseload is to maintain my priorities and remember what I came to SMU for. Every day here at SMU is a reminder of the life I want to provide for myself and my family, and that gives me the strength to focus on my studies.

Q: What achievements are you most proud of?

A: Considering I am in my first year, I am proud of myself of staying persistent on my academics and maintaining good discipline while managing my two jobs and social relationships.

Q: Advice for first-gen students?

A: Don’t fight your battles alone, for so long I always thought I had nobody to help me through my hardships but after coming to SMU I realized so many of the faculty care about you and your success and truly want to see you succeed.

 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Office of Engaged Learning Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs University Advising Center University Testing Center

Spring updates from the University Testing Center

Welcome back to campus! It’s hard to believe that the University Testing Center (UTC) has completed its first operation phase since opening in August 2022.  We look forward to continuing our specialized testing services for Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies (DASS) students needing accommodated testing and our student-athletes needing early or make-up testing due to travel during the competitive season.  Beginning this summer, we’ll expand our services to include standard academic make-up testing, fee-based testing for non-SMU students in the local community, and credit-by-exam testing (CLEP) for some SMU courses.

Testing at the UTC is done by appointment weekdays between 8:30 and 3:30 p.m. with extended hours during final exams.  Appointments must be made at least 48 business hours before classroom testing dates using the UTC Portal at www.smu.edu/utcportal.

The UTC Portal’s updated exam submission process allows professors to determine when eligible students can test at the UTC, automatically upload tests by course name and section number, and retrieve completed tests with proctoring documentation. Stop by the UTC in the basement of Clements Hall to tour the facility, meet the staff, and have a one-on-one consultation to make the testing experience easier for you and your students!

Scantron Exam processing at the University Testing Center ends May 10th

The University Testing Center (UTC) scanning and reporting service for exam Scantrons will end after AY 2023-24.  A few faculty members use the service as the migration to Canvas continues, as directed by the Office of the Provost.  This, along with increasing maintenance costs and staffing needs for new testing services at the UTC, was a deciding factor in ending the service.  Official announcements will be sent periodically to faculty users through various channels so they may prepare for alternatives.

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Academic Center for Excellence Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

ADSA & SASP Hosting a Staff & Faculty Breakfast on January 11th

Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) is hosting two upcoming tours of the Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) and Student Academic Success Programs (SASP).  Tours will take place at 9 AM and 9:30 AM at the ADSA & SASP offices located in Loyd All-Sports Center. ADSA is located on the 3rd floor, in suite 316. SASP is located on the second floor, in suite 201.  This opportunity is an invitation to all SMU faculty and staff to tour our academic centers and learn more about the support services offered to students! Breakfast and drinks will be available.

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Honors and Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success University Testing Center

University Testing Center closed for Fall Break

The University Testing Center will be closed on Monday, October 9th, and Tuesday, October 10th for Fall Break.

Testing will resume on Thursday, October 12th.   

Good luck on midterms, and enjoy the break!

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention University Testing Center

University Testing Center welcomes Amie DeRegge as Testing Coordinator

As the University Testing Center (UTC) launches its second year of operation this fall, we are excited to welcome Amie DeRegge as our new Testing Coordinator!

Amie brings over 20 years of experience in student academic records management, having served as a Texas charter high school registrar.  Her passion for serving students and her strengths in data management, multi-tasking, and customer service make her a tremendous addition to the UTC team.

“I’m so happy to work in the University Testing Center.  I love the culture and spirit of SMU and look forward to helping our students reach their academic goals for success in life,” Amie said.

Amie’s arrival at the UTC coincides with more new changes coming to the UTC this fall.  In addition to providing testing services to students receiving accommodations from DASS (Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies), the center will expand testing services to student-athletes during their sport’s competition season.  A migration to test scheduling software in the new UTC Portal will provide additional academic testing and credit-by-exam services to SMU students and the local community.

“It’s an exciting time to be at the UTC and be a part of its growth,” Amie said.  “It provides yet another opportunity to become immersed in the life of SMU.”

Amie enjoys spending time outdoors in her spare time, vacationing with family on the beach, being “Minyama” to her grandkids, and having fun with her pets Sparky and Doc.  She and her husband, Andrew, are proud Mustang parents to their daughter, Molly, an incoming freshman and member of SMU Cheer.

The UTC is certified by the National College Testing Association (NCTA) and adheres to professional standards ensuring exam integrity and accessibility for both examiners and examinees.

 

 

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Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center First-Generation Initiative Student Academic Success Programs

Student Academic Success Programs adds additional staff

SASP is fully staffed to kick of the fall, 2023 semester!

Please join us in welcoming Gracy Herrera as the new academic probation counselor. Gracy will counsel all pre-major students on academic probation. Gracy is an education advocate with over 14 years’ experience developing academic courses of action for students of varying social backgrounds, scholastic levels, and special needs. Gracy has most recently focused on advancing the skills of student-athletes in Dubai. Gracy will start next Monday, August 7.

We are also excited to welcome Makenzie Moriarty as the new academic counselor. Makenzie will counsel declared majors on academic probation, university probation, Prelude students, and the general undergraduate population. Makenzie comes to SMU from the University of South Carolina where she was a GA in the Student Success Center working to empower peer leaders and counsel students who were working to transfer to USC.  Makenzie will start next Monday, August 7.

Varun Singh is our new Graduate Assistant for the First-Generation Initiative.  Varun will work closely with Chris Meyers to support our first-gen students and implement our signature events. Varun is pursuing a MS in Business Analytics in the Cox School of Business. Varun has worked as a head organizer for a film festival, managed various projects, and has spent the last six years starting and managing his own real estate and construction firm. Varun will start next Wednesday, August 9.

We’d also like to thank our colleagues who assisted in the search process for all our positions this spring and summer – your collaborations are so appreciated.

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Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Student Academic Success Programs

SASP A-LEC Staff is Complete

Student Academic Success Programs welcomes Grace Okoro, who will start as tutor coordinator July 5th.  Grace has a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from UTA and a master’s in Health Administration from TWU.   She is also working towards a PhD in Health Sciences.  Grace will be assisting Adreana and Nancy in expanding our tutor training program, working with our tutors, and working with students.   Grace will bring SASP experience in data collection, and as a teaching assistant.

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Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

Student Academic Success Programs announces staff updates

Please welcome two new staff members to the Student Academic Success Programs (SASP) team and thank a valued member who is leaving:

Dr. Nancy Larkin is joins the A-LEC team as the Assistant Director of Tutoring.  Nancy has an Ed.D. from Walden University in Teacher Leadership, a master’s in Educational Technology from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from Lamar University.  She has experience teaching and writing curriculum in many high school science courses including Honor’s and AP physics, chemistry and biology.  She has presented at many conferences and has a lifetime teaching certification in Texas public schools.

Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) regrets to say goodbye to Dr. Robin Corbett in July as she returns to the K-12 sector, working in the area of special education. We welcome her replacement, Valiza Cameron-Patterson, in mid-July. Valiza comes to us from Dallas ISD where she served as a school counselor. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling & Student Affairs from TCU, and is excited to work with students with disabilities in higher education.

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Academic Center for Excellence Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies First-Generation Initiative Hilltop Scholars Mustang Scholars National Fellowships Office of Engaged Learning Office of General Education President’s Scholars Rotunda Scholars SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs Student Success & Retention University Advising Center University Honors Program University Testing Center

SEAS units begin migration to new SMU-branded web pages

In partnership with the Office of Information Technology, Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) began migrating unit websites to the new SMU-banded web pages.

As part of the brand migration, the SAES Marketing, Communication, and Digital Technology committee worked with unit webmasters to assist with a site content refresh (e.g., text, pictures, layouts). The committee recommended reorganizing navigation and pages based on Google Analytics data of high-traffic pages. As part of the process, broken links, spelling, SEO optimization, SMU web governance, and site navigation are also being addressed. Finally, professional headshots and employee biographies will be added over the summer.

Beginning with the SAES main navigation in late May, all units will be migrated over the course of the summer and early fall terms.

Last week, the following unit websites were completed:

Scheduled to migrate on or around the dates listed below will be:

  • June 23:
    • University Testing Center
    • University Advising Center
  • July 21:
    • Academic Development of Student-Athletes
    • Office of Student Success and Retention
  • August 11:
    • Student Academic Success Programs
    • Office of Undergraduate National Fellowships
  • September 1:
    • University Honors Program
    • First-Generation Initiative
    • Scholars’ Den
  • September 22:
    • President’s Scholars
    • Rotunda Scholars
    • Mustang Scholars
    • Hilltop Scholars

Please pardon our dust during this transition. If you discover broken links or issues, please direct them to academicsuccess@smu.edu to be routed appropriately. The next communication on the webpage migration will be once all SAES units have been completed.

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Academic Center for Excellence Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center First-Generation Initiative Hilltop Scholars Mustang Scholars National Fellowships Office of General Education President’s Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs University Advising Center University Honors Program

Writing Center is open Summer 2023

SMU’s Writing Center in the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC) is open this summer from June 1 – July 31!  Appointment times are:   

  • Mon – Thurs 2:30-5 (in person at the A-LEC)
  • Tues & Thurs 4-6:30 (ZOOM)
  • Fri 2:30-4:30 (in person at the A-LEC);  Sun 5-8 (ZOOM)     

Book an appointment with a Writing Center Faculty Member in Canvas.