CRYSTAL GREEN: Students appreciate ‘home vibe’ of center

Did you know that Detroit Mercy offers a three-credit course geared toward providing student-centered academic support to help students achieve success.

As a student with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, I know that the Student Disability & Accessibility Support Services department located in the Student Success Center on the third floor of the library is available to all Detroit Mercy students who have documented disabilities that limit them in one or more major life activities.

For students with documented disabilities, our school offers accommodations like extra time for testing, alternative test sites, note taking, alternative-format textbooks and materials, sign-language interpreters and CART (real-time captioning) services. 

I have visited the Student Success Center many times over the years.

Every time I go, there is a “home away from home” vibe that I have always been curious about. 

But I did not know how to ask, “What are all these people doing here?”

They appear to be studying, but comfortably, peacefully and almost Zen-like.   

What I did not know is that the Student Success Center is not just for students with disabilities. 

A three-credit course, Academic Empowerment, is available to all Detroit Mercy students and geared toward making the college experience easier.

“Students are taught study skills, career exploration and we also have representatives from other departments like wellness, financial aid or leadership come in and talk with students,” said Erica Graze, an academic and career advisor and mentor.

Professional mentoring is also available to students through the department.

“Students are welcome to come in and talk about any and everything,” said Graze. “If you really don’t know how to talk to your professor or who to reach out to when it comes to different departments or financial aid, we can help out with that.”

Peer mentoring is also available. 

Graze mentioned two other programs offered within the department. 

The AIME Program, or Academic Interest and Major Exploration, is offered to students who are undecided on their major or want to explore without the pressure of declaring a major.

The department also has The HealthX Program, Health Exploration, a major for students exploring majors in both health and science. 

“If students were not directly admitted into the health professional program of their choice, they can start off with us,” said Graze.