Have a question? Call the Success Center.

BY CORIE LYNN

PHOTOS BY ALEX JUAREZ

Feature image courtesy FHSU Foundation

As the fall semester begins students are moving around a new space on the FHSU campus.

Extending from the Memorial Union is the Fischli-Wills Center for Student Success: three floors of campus services dedicated to aiding students in every aspect of their college experience.

Already, students are utilizing the services and support the Student Success Center has to offer. They are meeting in classrooms, visiting advisors and studying in new lounge areas.

As the campus community settles into the new building, construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the first floor.

“That’s going to be the new welcome center, so when all our prospective families and students come for their official visits, those parking spots right on the building, that’s where they’ll start,” FHSU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joey Linn said.

According to Linn, the first floor houses admissions and centralizes academic advising. Students can also visit career services for help with their resumes or job search and to peruse the campus clothing closet.

One level up, students can find all of the services that will keep them involved in campus life. This floor includes student organizations, fraternity and sorority life, Student Government and diversity and inclusion offices.

“So basically, to me, my idea was that the lights should be on in there all the time because we want student orgs to have their meetings in there, to do their projects in there,” Linn said.

The third and final floor draws together the Student Health Center and the former Kelly Center to address physical and mental health in one space.

According to Linn, student success centers at universities across the country focus on tutoring and other academic services, but the addition of the health services is a major aspect of FHSU’s student success.

“And even the architects doing it said, ‘This is something everyone else wants to do and haven’t done yet,’” Linn said.

One reason for the centralized health services comes from how closely the student health and counseling services worked together in the past.

“We see this as a really unique opportunity to meet with students, address any of their needs, whether it be health or mental health,” FHSU Director of Health and Wellness Gina Smith said. “With a shared space, I feel that we can coordinate better together.”

Going forward, this collaboration will include programming centered on a teaching kitchen where groups and individuals where Smith hopes to have cooking classes and visits from nutritionists. The space provides a relaxed learning environment and an opportunity for virtual students to participate, too.

According to Smith, she and the staff will evaluate additional services as the semester unfolds.

“If there is some specialty area needed, whether it be a dentist or whoever, that we could do something where we could do some collaborating where either somebody could come and do a program,” Smith said, “and then if a student needed to be seen, they could go over to the First Care Clinic.”

Right now, the Health Center’s lab services are still located in the basement of the Union, but students already visit the third floor for their other appointments.

By including the Health Center in the Success Center, FHSU is providing an area for students to address their needs in a way that allows them to succeed as a student.

“We wanted to make sure more services were available in one area so that you’re not running all over campus trying to figure out where stuff is at, where things are at, what services are available,” Linn said.

With the semester underway, the first and second floors of the Student Success Center will remain open 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 5:00-10:00 p.m. on Sundays.

The Health and Wellness will not hold evening hours but does provide a 24/7 outsourcing counseling hotline for students.

Though the building is open for students, Linn said that crews are still adding finishing touches to the first floor. The goal is to be completely finished by mid-to-late September, in time for the ribbon-cutting the Friday morning of Oktoberfest.

With the Center’s completion, the FHSU faculty hopes to have a one-stop answer for many students’ needs.

“I feel like we’ve really created a unique opportunity for students to come in and, on each floor, get needs met that I think will really enhance their experience here at Fort Hays,” Smith said.

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