By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor
Oklahoma Baptist University’s spring semester just recently began, and it is not uncommon for students to be feeling far less stressed than they will be feeling at the end of the semester. While it is important to enjoy this time, it is also extremely important to find ways to make this semester a beneficial and healthy one.
The Milburn Student Success Center, located on the third floor of the Mabee Learning Center, is open for the semester. The center offers one-on-one help in a multitude of areas and often has group study sessions for exams, midterms, and finals.
Kirt Henderson is the Director of Student Success at Oklahoma Baptist University and oversees the Milburn Student Success Center.
“We have over 50 staff members on our team, and we have co-chairs, an executive staff and coordinators for all of the subjects that we support,” Henderson said. “I’m working with those individuals to make sure that we are promoting the center, communicating with staff, communicating with faculty about study sessions, building class lists so we can email students and a variety of other things at the success center.”
Henderson also meets with students who feel like they want or need academic assistance or are on academic probation.
“I respond to situations as they arise,” Henderson said. “Especially in the spring semester, my schedule is pretty full of students. I really enjoy building those relationships and getting to know students throughout the course of the semester, seeing the progress they have made and working alongside them to reach their full potential.”
As someone who is very familiar with students and their academic issues and needs, Henderson offers some advice on how to have a successful spring semester.
“Students need to do the essential things first,” Henderson said. “That basically includes going to every class, making sure every assignment is turned in on time. When I look at results of students that didn’t fare as well as they would have liked to in the first semester, often there are multiple zeros in their Canvas gradebook”
Henderson also encourages students to find ways to better manage their time.
“On top of that, it’s finding some type of time management system as well,” Henderson said. “Especially for freshmen, who have gone from an 8-3 school day to a school experience that is often spread throughout the day and has gaps in between. Often, students aren’t using their time productively. What we really encourage is maximizing the time from when you wake up until you go to dinner, really making school your job. This means that you’re in class, preparing for class and working on homework.”
Of course, Henderson encourages students to use the resources and help that is available on campus.
“We want students to come in for study sessions for the exams, but we also want people to come in for one-on-one assistance with us as well- whether in math, business, science, writing or foreign language,” Henderson said. “We want people to come in with questions on their homework or from the assignment that day, and we want to provide individual assistance for them.”
The people providing this assistance are the Milburn Student Success Center staff, who each have certain subjects that they specialize in.
“Because I’m in the religion and philosophy department, it tends to be more focused on study sessions,” senior bible and philosophy major and Religion Coordinator, Chandler Warren said. “For our area, we do about 20 to 30 study sessions a semester, and the other thing we help out with is writing assistance. Those are the two big things for religion. Most people come for papers and for tests. My experience has been great.”
Academic success follows when students are persistent in practicing good study habits throughout the entire semester.
“The ones that I see that have the most success at the end of the semester are the ones who are coming in from the beginning, and that’s why we call ourselves the success center, Warren said. “We really believe that if you come in regularly to get assistance, you will succeed in your classes. Every mentor here has been in your shoes. Often, we hire people who have come to the success center. It’s extremely rare for us to hire someone who has not come in and used our services.”
Zach Johns, a junior biochemistry major who assists in the math department said his experiences have been positive and had been visiting the Success Center since he was a freshman.
“There have been many beneficial moments that I have had here,” Johns said. “Every time I come into work it’s so nice to be the person helping someone, because I have been the person being helped before.”
For more information on study sessions, individual help and hiring, visit the Milburn Student Success Center on the third floor of the Mabee Learning Center.