$7,500 grant helps Hazleton's Student Success Center enhance support services

Glass window looking into room with students gathered around a desk.

A $7,500 grant from the University’s Second-Year Student Enhancement Program will help Penn State Hazleton's Student Success Center to strengthen and expand its academic services in support of second-year students.

Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton’s Student Success Center has received a $7,500 grant to strengthen and expand its academic services in support of second-year students whose transition from high school to college may have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic impacted students’ adjustment to college life and their development of the skills needed for curricular and co-curricular success,” said Tammy Spevak, Student Success Center coordinator. “As students typically choose their major after their second year, this is a really important year for them, and we want to make sure it’s as successful and enriching as possible.”

Located in the upper level of the Charles T. Butler Teaching and Learning Resource Center, the Student Success Center offers free academic support to students through one-on-one and group tutoring, help with studying, time management and organization, and other skills key to successful learning. It also provides disability resources like testing accommodations, assistive technology, alternative format texts and other needs.

The space features a mini computer lab, writing lab, equipment to participate in online courses or job interviews, and areas to study and collaborate. 

The grant, written along with the campus Student Services and Engagement and Advising and Career Center offices, is a product of the University’s Second-Year Student Enhancement Program. It will support the hiring of a graduate intern or part-time professional for the spring 2022 semester to increase the frequency of programs and services and meet regularly with students.

Shaina Shelton, a Penn State Wilkes-Barre alumnae and current rehabilitation counseling graduate student at the University of Scranton, has filled that role during the fall 2021 semester. 

Shelton has assisted with academic coaching, including one-on-one meetings with students to help them stay on task with course work, and has helped provide student disability resources. 

“If students are stressed or anxious, they can come see us for help staying on track,” Shelton said.

Spevak said many students have taken advantage of its services since the semester began.

“We had more traffic in the first week of the semester than we did in the past year-and-a-half,” Spevak said.

Workshops held throughout the semester will focus on topics including re-acclimation to the classroom, stress management, learning strategies, effective communication, leadership and more.

The grant also helped pay for a special luncheon during Welcome Weekend specifically for second-year students.

To continue celebrating second-year students, the Student Success Center, along with Student Services and Engagement, will participate in the University-wide Second-Year Student Appreciation Week from Oct. 11-15. 

"Co-curricular activities like the ones planned for Second-Year Student Appreciation Week drive engagement, build a sense of community, and help develop leadership skills in students,” said Robert Knight Jr., associate director of Student Services and Engagement. “Most of all, they are part of what makes the Penn State experience so memorable. Although the events are geared toward second-year students, all students are welcome to attend.”

Monday, Oct. 11

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Creating Vision Boards
Student Success Center

7 p.m.
Student Government Association Information Session
Butler TLRC 103

Tuesday, Oct. 12

Noon to 1 p.m.
Time Management and Stress Relief Workshop
Campus Mall (Butler TLRC upper lobby in case of rain)

Wednesday, Oct. 13

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rock the Block 
Campus Mall

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Exam Analysis Tips
Campus Mall

Thursday, Oct. 14

12:20 p.m.
Student Government Association Information Session
Butler TLRC 103

8 p.m.
Crazy Bob’s Trivia Night
Highacres Café

Friday, Oct. 15

Trip to Medieval Mazezilla Corn Maze in Saylorsburg
Bus departs from South Hall at 5 p.m.