The USC Upstate Student Success Center recently unveiled its newly renovated Academic Performance Center located in the University’s library during a ribbon cutting ceremony held in front of student-athletes and staff members.
The funding for the Academic Performance Center came thanks to a grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to help schools improve the academic success of their student-athletes by supporting their efforts to meet the requirements of the Division I Academic Performance Program. The program was developed to ensure schools provide an environment that supports education while enhancing the ability of student-athletes to earn a degree.
Upstate was one three schools to receive a $100,000 grant as the NCAA awarded a total of $500,000 to seven Division I schools.
“Our student-athletes amaze me every day by their accomplishments, ingenuity and enjoyable personalities,” said Academic Advisor Susan Kolb. “It is easy working with the student-athletes that appreciate the extra time you commit to them. Our student-athletes are extremely deserving of the funds from the AASP Grant and have expressed sincere appreciation. I am looking forward to seeing the benefits from this grant for many more years to come.”
The Academic Performance Center will be used for daily study hall and all student-athletes who are looking for a dedicated space to study. All new furniture has been added to the room along with four new computers and pictures placed on every wall. The pictures represent both the “student” and “athlete”, encouraging achievement in both areas. The room also includes smart classroom technology and can be used for academic skills workshops.
“It is great to see students excited to study and engaged in learning,” added Director of Student Success Susannah Waldrop. “From the minute they walked in the room, you could see that they were proud of the space and appreciated the investment made in their academics.”
The Spartan Academic Spaces Initiative was implemented at two campus locations with one being the Academic Performance Center. The other includes an upgraded classroom with furnishings that promote active learning, and is where student-athletes and other students attend their freshman seminar class. The furniture is all movable and allows the classroom to be arranged and rearranged as needed for interactive class activities.
The active learning classroom also allows an educational experience that is connected, experiential and flexible. These types of spaces promote engaged teaching and learning, as well as traditional presentations, group work, and whole class discussion. Smart classroom technology is also included in the classroom.