Hixson-Lied: One-stop shop for Student Success


Photo: Jordan Maurice/Iowa State

The Hixson-Lied Student Success Center allows for Iowa State student athletes to meet with mental health advisers. 

Iowa State’s Academic Success Center includes a variety of services for students, all under one roof, the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center.

The university recently consolidated several of its academic services to the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center. Putting the services together under one roof allows students to have one convenient location to access the variety of services.

Hixson-Lied now includes the Academic Success Center, tutoring services, academic coaching and outreach, supplemental instruction, the writing and media center and Psych 131, a course on academic skills taught in partnership with the psychology department.

“We really want this to be the one-stop shop for students’ access,” Adriana Gonzalez, director of the Academic Success Center, said. “And so the kind of communication we really want to push out is that if students walk through our doors, we will give them the support they need because they might not know all of the different supports that are available to them.”

While providing academic support is the main objective of the Student Success Center, Gonzalez said they also hope to get students engaged with their coursework and academic goals.

“It’s also a great opportunity for them to not only receive the services, but we have great leadership opportunities, to be a tutor or an assigned leader or an academic coach,” Gonzalez said. “I think half the time, the students that we hire are ones who have participated in our services, so they know how it works.”

Kipp Van Dyke, assistant dean of students, said a lot of the work done through the Student Success Center is reaching out to students to share academic skill sets like study skills, time management and exam preparation.

Consolidating the Academic Success Center allows students to use the center as a liaison for academic services.

“If a student were to meet with Student Accessibility, and then maybe one of the things they may need is tutoring, they could be walked up a flight of stairs and say, well, here’s how you get connected there,” Van Dyke said.

Often students come to the Student Success Center looking for one form of academic support but find that another service is better suited for the issue they’re experiencing, Van Dyke said.

“So I think that we just want to continue to normalize like that’s not a place of deficiency,” Van Dyke said. “It’s a place where you can go as a good student and get resources.”

It comes down to the age-old parable, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. While Van Dyke and Gonzalez cannot force students to seek out the resources available to them, they have at least made them easy to find.