New Center for Student Success Supports Students from Freshman through Senior Year

Student-serving offices now together in one space near the Quadrangle.

Manhattan College’s new Center for Student Success opened this month in Thomas Hall, bringing together the existing offices of Academic Success, Career Pathways, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, Financial Aid, Graduate Admissions, Higher Education Opportunity Program, Specialized Resource Center and Study Abroad into one distinct physical space. The new center allows Manhattan College students to receive guidance from multiple areas, at any step during their college experience, from when they first arrive on campus, to their senior year and beyond. 

The Center for Academic Success provides students with quiet spaces to study with peer tutors, or to engage in small group study sessions. The Center for Academic Success also offers workshops and has an open-door policy with extended hours to accommodate students’ different schedules. Marisa Passafiume, director of the Center for Academic Success, has already seen a 20 percent increase in student visitors during September, compared to the same time a year ago.

“We were able to create an open, inviting space that calls to all students,” Passafiume says. “Not only are we able to use a state-of-the-art facility, our students can access many different resources needed to succeed during their time at Manhattan College.”

The Office of Career Pathways is right next door in the new space, allowing students of all class years to drop by for resume-writing assistance, questions about potential internships, or help finding a mentor in the Jasper alumni network. The new space has two separate areas — one for students and another for employers who come for on-campus recruiting. There is also a large, open area for peer career advisers to counsel students during drop-in hours. 

The Office of Career Pathways houses the Center for Career Development and the Center for Graduate School & Fellowship Advisement, offering a one-stop shop to prepare students for postgraduate pursuits of all kinds. “It's an environment that feels more professional and student-centered,” says Rachel Cirelli, director of Career Development. “The layout and size of the space allows us to host employers and serve students in a much more welcoming, professional and convenient way.” 

There are new individual testing and tutoring rooms in the Specialized Resource Center, which provides voluntary disability services for all students with special needs, including individuals with a temporary disability, such as those resulting from injury or surgery.

Regardless of major, undergraduate students also have the opportunity to explore a number of study abroad programs within the Center for Student Success. Students can study abroad or study away in another part of the United States. Programs vary in duration from one to two weeks during January intersession or spring break, a month in the summer, a semester, or as long as an academic year. 

The Office of Graduate Admissions also resides within the new Center for Student Success, helping prospective Jasper graduate students with questions about programs in education, engineering, organizational leadership, school leadership and the MBA program. 

“This was a high priority project for us,” said Andy Ryan, vice president of facilities. “We wanted to create this space to bring together groups that serve our students every day, making it easier for our students to capitalize on the resources we have on campus.”

By Pete McHugh