Helping students find their place and achieve success at a large institution like Concordia University Montreal—with a total student body of more than 40,000 at two locations—presents challenges, points out Marlene Gross, manager of Services for New Students and the Student Success Program Centre. A long-time Concordia staff member, Gross was charged with developing programs that would help students, particularly new ones, become more deeply connected to the university while helping staff members better understand their needs and concerns.
The Student Success Program Centre, created in response to that challenge, is a unit in the Counselling and Development department, which provides service in three critical areas: learning support, counseling, and career services. “The program we developed looks at all of these areas and addresses student needs in a holistic way,” says Gross. The Centre has also served as the launch pad for several student success initiatives for first-year students.