Help is always given at WSC to those who ask for it

Kadra Sommersted, Staff Writer

The Holland Academic Success Center offers help that’s available for all students at Wayne State College.

“We offer academic coaching,” said Nancy Travnicek, director of Holland Academic Success Center. “We offer academic advising – for deciding students; we offer freshman experience classes for freshmen coming in – a transition course to help them adjust to college life and academics; (and) all the help desks.”

She said that the help desks have 26 students on the help desk staff.

“(The staff) help people with all gen-ed courses,” said Travnicek.

She said that the staff is there to help with 100- and 200-level classes in all of the areas the college has, and the writing help desk can be accessed in person, as well as online for help with all writing assignments.

She said the center has disabilities services as a new service in the Academic Success Center.

“Having the disability services in this office is a change,” said Travnicek. “That’s a big area, and it serves lots of students and we want to do it well.”

She said that she and Julie Bose, learning skills specialist, are trying to get trained so they are able to make sure their services are up to speed for assisting students.

“The Holland Center serves students,” said Travnicek. “And students can come here. Hopefully, they will walk through the door and seek out what we have because students often need support in doing this kind of difficult, kind of expensive adventure called college.”

She said that the staff is there to help and cares about the students.

“We are open for all undergraduate students on the campus,” said Mary Carstens, learning skills specialist. “Usually in the fall semester we have several sections of freshman experience class. Some of those are linked with other academic classes.”

She said that the staff advises the undecided students on campus. Students are able to go into the center and ask for assistance from a neutral adviser. She said the also do academic coaching, allowing students to work one-on-one with a staff member.

“We coordinate the summer advising program, led up by our supervisor, Nancy Travnicek,” said Carstens.

She said that Travnicek works a lot with the summer advising program because there’s a lot of coordination that goes with the, “two and a half week ordeal” of registration.

“Our biggest help desk that is staffed by full time staff and students,” said Carstens. “Is the writing help desk.”

She said that it’s probably the help desk that gets the most use out of all the desks that are available to students.

“We do the campus visits for incoming freshmen and transfer students,” said Carstens.

She said that Travnicek does specific coaching with students that take the Praxis core test. The Praxis is a test given to students studying to be an educator; consisting of reading, writing, and math skills.

“Education majors have to take and pass a test, they call it general knowledge,” said Carstens. “They have to take it. It’s a reading, writing and math test; and so she works with students that are maybe struggling with that.”

She said that there are a couple of non-credit classes, that go eight weeks, offered to help the students succeed on the test their first time.

“We’ve made a stronger connection with international students this year,” said Carstens.

She said this will continue, and the center is coordinated with the Multicultural Center to match international students that are new to the community with someone who has been in the community for a while, such as professors and their family or another staff member.