A one-stop success shop

Margaret Eimer (left) checks in with Kayla Klossner, a success coach at the Burns & McDonnell Student Success Center. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Senior Margaret Eimer (left) visits with Kayla Klossner, a success coach at the Burns & McDonnell Student Success Center. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Missouri S&T offers a lot of student services. But with so many options, it can be hard for students to know exactly what kind of help they need and where to find it. That’s why the Burns & McDonnell Student Success Center was created last fall.

Housed in Room 198 Toomey Hall, the Student Success Center (SSC) is a place where students can get inside information on where to find the resources and tools that will help them make the most of their time at S&T.

A therapy dog gets some love from students in the week before finals. Photo submitted.

A therapy dog enjoys some attention from students the week before finals.

“It’s a comfortable and safe place where students can get their questions answered,” says Tara Stone, student services advisor at the SSC. “The number one thing we want to promote is that it’s okay to ask for help. That’s a big issue for many of our students.”

Stone, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in technical communication from S&T in 2009 and 2012, respectively, was hired to work at the newly created center in November 2012. She works with SSC director Patty Frisbee and a staff of 13 student “success coaches.”

Students are invited to stop by the SSC to relax between classes, get a free cup of coffee, surf the Internet or borrow a whiteboard as a study tool.

They can also participate in programs and activities covering topics like how to overcome procrastination, complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), change majors or register for classes online. The center collaborates with departments throughout campus to offer a variety of learning opportunities.

“We’re adding more programs as we grow,” says Stone.

One popular program is Therapy Dog Week, which provides a much-needed break from academics. “We try to bring a different therapy dog in every day the week before finals,” says Stone. “The students love it – they get to hang out and play with the dog.”

Students needing academic help are initially referred to LEAD (Learning Enhancement Across Disciplines). After they’ve attended a LEAD session, they can return to the Student Success Center for help finding a tutor. Tutors are always needed; interested students are encouraged to call the center at 573-341-7596 or email success@mst.edu.

Another friendly canine visits the center.

Another friendly canine visits the center.

Kayla Klossner, a senior in applied mathematics from St. James, Mo., has been with the SSC since the beginning. “It’s a great experience being a success coach,” she says. “Even if a student just comes in to study, it’s helpful to know there’s someone right there at the desk who can answer your questions — and if they can’t, they’ll find the answer for you.”

The Student Success Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Its website (studentsuccess.mst.edu/) features specific pages geared to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors; and information about success tools, programs and academic support.

SSC staff members are available through live chat on Facebook, through text messaging (573-458-9BAM), success@mst.edu, phone (573-341-7590 or 573-341-7596) or in person at the center in Room 198 Toomey Hall.

by Linda Fulps


  1. Rajesh Alla says