Academic Success Center staff celebrated for dedication and innovation

Updated: March 4, 2023

pictured: photo of asc team on the krach lawn

Through a variety of programs and services, the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center (ASC) aims to enhance learning, increase retention and improve undergraduate students’ success throughout their academic journey. As outlined in its 2023 annual report, the ASC demonstrates a remarkable dedication to providing students with the tools and support necessary to excel.

From individual academic consultations to peer-led study sessions, the ASC offers a comprehensive range of resources tailored to meet the diverse needs of Purdue’s diverse student body. And behind the success of these resources are the ASC’s dedicated staff members, who tirelessly work to create a supportive and empowering environment for students.

“I’m so grateful for our team,” says Katie Dufault, director of the ASC. “Everyone — from our student leaders to graduate assistants and professional staff — contributes to making our work of supporting Boilermakers possible. Last year, we celebrated 50 years of serving students, and I hope everyone on the team — both past and present — sees how their talent and dedication define our work and our center.”

Pictured: Outside of Wiley Hall, where the Academic Success Center is housed in room C215

One of the standout programs championed by the ASC’s staff is the Peer Success Coaching program, where trained peer leaders work one-on-one with students to develop strategies and skills for academic, social and personal success.

“I like being a Peer Success Coach,” shares Matias Alvarado Florian. “I get to support students academically, and I also get to learn a lot about the resources available on campus.”

Additionally, the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program provides interactive, peer-led study sessions for traditionally challenging courses, helping students grasp course material and develop valuable study skills.

The ASC's commitment to putting students first is evident in its Test Drive program, which offers students the opportunity to take mock exams in an environment like Elliott Hall of Music, a venue known for hosting intimidating exams. This initiative, started in 2017, addresses a common concern among first-year students and helps alleviate anxiety surrounding exams.

“When discussing test anxiety, we always suggest that students mimic the testing environment, and this event really does that for them,” says Jo Cardarelli, an assistant director with the ASC. “The practice alleviates a lot of unknowns, giving participants more time to focus on the test itself.”

Throughout the past year, the ASC has also focused on expanding its reach and partnerships. Collaborations with Orientation Programs have led to the development of new academic success sessions during Boiler Gold Rush, aimed at helping incoming students transition smoothly into college life. Additionally, the center has worked closely with campus partners to provide support to students on academic notice, implementing outreach efforts and proposing policy changes to better serve this student population.

Looking ahead, the ASC shows no signs of slowing down. Plans are already in motion to expand services to Purdue students in Indianapolis. As the academic landscape continues to evolve, the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center stands as a beacon of support and guidance for undergraduate students, embodying the spirit of academic excellence and innovation at Purdue University.

headshot of communications manager emily jones

Emily R. Jones

Communication Manager for Student Success Programs,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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