Fairmont State University’s Learning Enrichment and Academic Development Center, better known as the LEAD Center on campus, offers a variety of resources to students, including peer and professional tutoring, workshops, peer mentoring and more. The LEAD Center continues to serve its mission to connect Fairmont State University students with trained tutors and resources to enrich their education and become independent, confident learners.
“We have the ability for students to have private, one-on-one meetings with tutors or they can be in our general space which is more relaxed, and even have group appointments,” said Fairmont State University LEAD Center Coordinator, Brittany Cuchta.
According to a recent usage report, the LEAD Center experienced significant growth in student visits during the 2021 – 22 academic year, increasing by 129 percent. In addition to the increase in visits, the LEAD Center offered more than 3,000 hours of support to students, provided services to more than 550 students and proctored over 500 hours.
In 2021 the center also launched the new Students Taking Academic Responsibility program, designed to enhance student success. Students participating in the STAR program were required to attend weekly meetings with a professional advisor or academic coach assigned through the LEAD Center, regularly attend tutoring sessions at the LEAD Center and attend a minimum of two workshops presented by the center.
Several students experienced positive outcomes in the pilot year of the STAR program, with notable highlights including:
One STAR program student was able to complete their classes with a 3.42 term GPA. Their financial aid was reinstated for spring and fall due to support from the LEAD Center team.
Another student’s term GPA was the highest it has been since her first semester in Fall 2019. Her overall GPA has made an upward trending turn, and she was connected with a tutor that was able to support her in her most difficult class. Her confidence in her ability grew significantly.
An additional student enrolled in the STAR program was able to connect with the LEAD Center and seek advocacy in a grade appeal due to health issues.
Another student brought their term GPA up from Fall 2021 and held their cumulative GPA constant. They were able to advocate for themselves and reach out to professors when they began to struggle. They commented, “If someone had made me come to the LEAD Center as a freshman, I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
In addition to resources provided to students to support academic success, the LEAD Center provides opportunities for students to serve as peer mentors or educators. Peer educator and mentor opportunities empower students to build connections, acquire leadership skills and positively influence fellow students.
“Students are coming back and forming relationships with their tutors and tutors can support students in their academic goals,” Cuchta said. “Tutors love coming to work and helping students, forming friendships with each other. We’ve worked to cultivate a really friendly atmosphere.”
For more information about the LEAD Center, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/LEAD.