Mills Reorganized to Enhance Student Success

October 05, 2010

Mills Memorial Hall

Rollins prides itself on outstanding applied learning opportunities that offer students a comprehensive college experience.

This summer, Mills Memorial Hall was realigned to better integrate student-centered programs and success in an effort to build synergy around the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U’s) “High Impact” practices of Integrative Learning.

There are 10 practices that AAC&U’s educational research suggest increases rates of student retention and student engagement, including First-Year Seminars and Experiences, Common Intellectual Experiences, Learning Communities, Writing-Intensive Courses, Collaborative Assignments and Projects, Undergraduate Research, Diversity/Global Learning, Service Learning, Community-Based Learning, Internships, Capstone Courses and Projects.

The first floor of Mills is now dedicated to Academic Advising, Disability Services and the Dean of the Faculty Office to provide a stronger connection between advising, the Dean’s Office, and Student Records with the goal of enhancing developmental advising for students. The second floor of Mills now houses the Offices of Academic Internships, Community Engagement, Explorations and External & Competitive Scholarships, as well as Tutoring and Writing Consulting.

With the realignment of Mills, the Dean of the Faculty’s office seeks to better connect students with the offices, programs, and resources that will enhance their college experience.  “Mills is now better aligned for staff to work more collaboratively together on high impact practices that enhance student learning, academic services, engagement, support and success,” said Interim Dean of the Faculty Debra Wellman.

Some of the offices located in Mills include:

• The Office of Explorations offers a variety of programs and resources to fully engage first-year students in their lifelong educational journeys, and assist students in making a successful transition to campus. The Office of Explorations also partners with Rollins’ Living Learning Communities in Ward and Rex Beach residence halls, which increase the academic, social and residential connection among first-year students, while fostering independence within a supportive academic residential community.

• The Office of Academic Internships enhances the internship experience through in-depth reflection and critical analysis of the work environment.  By participating in an internship or a shadowing experience, students have the opportunity to earn course credit as they explore a career field and gain valuable resume-building skills.

• The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) promotes service and community-based learning by encouraging students, faculty and staff involvement within local and global communities through community engagement designated courses, leadership development and community service opportunities. OCE is committed to fostering a lifelong commitment to social justice, civic engagement and social responsibility.

• The Office of Student External & Competitive Scholarship Advisement helps students (and alumni) prepare for a wide variety of highly competitive and prestigious scholarships which acknowledge academic achievement, leadership and public service. The Office of External & Competitive Scholarships also highlights the high-impact practices of collaborative projects and undergraduate research by encouraging students to participate in programs like the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program.

Academic advising helps students clarify individual values, interests, academic and life goals and assists students in the selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences. Academic advising staff help students review and evaluate progress toward established educational goals and completion of requirements within individual plans of study, choose a major, understand and interpret College policies, propose self-designed majors, learn more about the 3/2 Accelerated Management Program (AMP), submit academic appeals and complete their major/minor maps.

• Rollins’ Disability Services works with students who have documented disabilities. Examples of accommodations available are extended test time, a distraction free room for testing, textbooks in audio format and single room housing.

Tutoring and Writing Consulting provides students with one-on-one academic guidance to help them achieve success in the classroom. Students can make an appointment with a peer educator (a content tutor or a writing consultant) in the Web-based scheduling system TutorTrac via R-Net.

SPARC Day of Service, "Be a Part from the Start"

The changes in Mills have already developed new opportunities to strengthen student and staff resources. An example of this is the successful partnership that took place this fall between Explorations First-Year Programs and the “Be a Part from the Start” OCE initiative.

The re-alignment in Mills has also allowed for the more convenient co-location student groups and organizations into Chase Hall. “Student Affairs is excited to welcome the Student Government Association, as well as Tommy’s Tar Pit (student organization resource center) to Chase,” said Dean of Student Affairs Karen Hater. “These functions are now more closely connected to the staff in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, who provide intentional support and resources for student leadership and development. Additionally, the increased student traffic facilitates collaboration and community building.”

Learn more about AAC&U’s “High Impact” practices of Integrative Learning.

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