Exponent Explains: Office of Student Success

The Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success has increasingly become a source of prosperity for students over the years and it doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. The office title was changed from the Office of Student Success to the Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success after longtime former MSU Vice President for Student Success, Allen Yarnell, passed away on Nov. 14, 2013. With the one year anniversary of his passing approaching, the exponent explains what the office does.

The office facilitates a variety of programs that include workshops, initiatives for first year and second year students, financial education services, tutoring services and helps connect students to various centers across campus.

One of the office’s main components is the MyCatCareers program. The program gives students access to a range of student success coordinators that will work with students to develop a success plan that works best for the student. Success advisors take into account the student’s major, interests, work history and various other factors to help the student on a path towards a future career.

MyCatCareers also establishes a quick and easy relationship between over 180 employers in the Bozeman community and students on campus. Students can create a login and can submit a resume in their profile for employers to look at.

The office also is known for its ChampChange program. The program is engagement based and gives students points by attending anything from the fitness center to football games to workshops offered on campus. Students can load the points onto their CatCard and can use the points to purchase prizes at auctions throughout the semester.

ChampChange prizes range from $1,000 tuition checks to Starbucks giftcards, to a Blue-ray player. Many students such as junior Justin O’Dea take advantage of the ChampChange program, but many may not know that points can be obtained just about everywhere. O’Dea collected over 130,000 points last semester. “I get points by going to all the football games and events in the SUB. I also go to tutoring sessions on a weekly basis and collect points from that . . . I try to go to every ChampChange event as well and I go to the gym quite often and get points every time I go,” he said.

The office also facilitates easy navigation for MSU tech services. The Bobcat Tech Hub lists every service needed and offered through MSU. For instance, a student could go to Bobcat Tech Hub off of the student success website and can click on the MyInfo link. A pop up screen will show why it is important and a step-by-step guide on how to navigate through it.

Carina Beck, director of the office, noted that “the Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success really honors the legacy and commitment that Allen Yarnell had to ensure student success.”