2021-22 Annual Report

Mission Statement

The Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center (ASC) provides undergraduate students with opportunities to develop students’ transferable academic skills, enhance learning, increase retention, and improve overall student success throughout their academic journey.

Vision Statement

The ASC aspires to provide all undergraduate students with services and opportunities to define and develop strategies to reach their goals. Driven by a focus on students, the ASC partners with the campus community to facilitate a culture of academic confidence, tenacity, and, ultimately, success.

Program Elements

The Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center provides free services that support students’ learning with a focus on the process strategies and skills that support the content expertise provided in the classroom.

  • Academic Consultations are individual meetings that provide students with tailored support on study strategies, time management, test-taking strategies, and other academic success topics. These 1-on1 meetings are with a staff member and require an appointment. Participating students may voluntarily seek support or may be required by an academic program or campus office to meet with an academic consultant.
  • Accountability Groups offer students with ongoing peer support through weekly meetings (90 minutes) with a consistent group of 8-10 peers and an ASC facilitator. During the group meetings, students discuss current academic challenges and wins, share strategies, set goals, and then work on individual goal tasks.
  • Peer Success Coaching program (PSC) offers students additional support, campus resources and connections, and accountability as they work toward academic, social, and/or personal goals. Trained peer leaders work 1-on-1 with students to develop strategies, skills, and solutions as they aim for their definition of success.
  • Supplemental Instruction program (SI) provides students with interactive, peer-led study sessions for traditionally challenging courses. The trained SI leader facilitates group activities that engage students in critically thinking about the course material, applying the concepts, and learning transferable study skills. In fall and spring semesters, SI is offered in 30+ courses with 45+ SI leaders. In summer semesters, SI is offered online for a limited number of courses.
  • Workshops provide an interactive environment for small to large groups of students to identify and practice strategies for effective studying and learning, including time management, overcoming procrastination, and effective studying. In addition to our open series of workshops, student organizations or classes can request a workshop for their group.
  • The Academic Case Manager Project was moved under the ASC portfolio. When the university needs to require isolation/quarantine of students, the ASC is equipped to provide impacted students with an academic case manager (ACM). The ACM offers the student support in navigating their academics during that time, including how to contact faculty, advocate for their needs, and structure their time to meet extended deadlines.
  • Online Resources are available for students and the campus community through the ASC website, which include success strategy handouts, a GPA calculator, and a searchable database of coursespecific help rooms and tutoring programs offered across campus.
  • Study Skills Course- GS 29001 is a one-credit hour, first 8 weeks course that focuses on discussing and applying effective academic strategies including goal setting, time management, and study skills.
  • Test Drive is a large-scale workshop that offers students in select high-enrollment, first-year chemistry, math, and biology courses the opportunity to take a mock exam in the Elliott Hall of Music environment. The program was started in 2017 to help address a common concern brought up by first-year students – they felt unprepa


The Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center has several categories of outcomes. While this report will focus on our program outcomes, the ASC student employment outcomes and competencies and the ASC student-facing learning outcomes are available in Appendices A and B.

As a result of participating in programs and services offered by the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center, students will:

  • Achieve better course outcome (grade) than comparable peers who did not participate
  • Be retained at a higher rate than peers who did not participate
  • Complete more credit hours per semester than peers who did not participate
  • Earn a higher GPA (term and cumulative) than peers who did not participate
  • Maintain or return to good academic standing status

Assessment Plans

The Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center assesses the outcomes of our programs and services on an ongoing basis. In addition to the current assessment plans, the ASC staff aspire to deepen the understanding of the influence our programs and services have on students, student leaders, and campus and to make scholarly contributions to the field of learning and academic support. Aspirational assessment and study ideas are available in Appendix C.

Semester Assessment

  • Feedback survey to SI participants about session experience
  • Feedback survey to PSC participants about coaching experience
  • Feedback survey to participants post-workshop (after each session)
  • GS 29001 course assignments (individual student assessment)
  • Course evaluation to GS 29001 students
  • BoilerConnect Case Referral metrics
  • (New) ASC Space utilization
  • (New) Pre- and Post- survey for Accountability Group participants
  • (Need) Academic Consultation evaluation/feedback
  • Standard GPA, standing, course grade (where relevant), retention, etc. reporting for SI, PSC, consultations, and accountability groups

Annual Assessment

  • Student leader performance evaluations on competencies
  • (New) Student leader feedback on supervising staff performance
  • (New) Course sequencing ANCOVA for specific SI courses
  • (Aspirational) Intersectional reporting of current data and metrics: Are we reducing, maintaining, or exacerbating a gap in equity?

Rotational Assessment and Studies

  • Impact of Attending SI Accounting for Self-Selection Bias (study using propensity score matching to evaluate participant and non-participant course outcomes)
  • Qualitative study on experience of serving as PSC related to skill development (in progress)
  • Impact of Academic Consultations (explore outcomes of referral cases comparing students who meet with a consultant to students who do not meet with a consultant; understand student experience of meeting with an academic consultant; what are the values and influences of academic consultations from their perceptive, beyond university metrics?) (proposed)

Notable Changes

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our general offerings adapted in the following ways:
    • Academic consultations, PSC coaching meetings, and student leader supervision meetings were offered both in-person and virtually, at the student’s choice.
    • Student leader trainings and ASC Student Leader Summit returned to an in-person format
    • Workshops returned to in-person offerings
    • SI sessions returned to in-person sessions without registration or limited participant availability
    • Test Drive was not offered in Fall 2021 due to uncertainty of exam regulations
  • Supplemental Instruction: SI sessions evolved throughout the academic year.
    • SI offered hybrid office hours with SI leaders available in-person at the ASC and online via Zoom which increased office hour utilization
    • SI continued the SI Information auto-enrolled Brightspace page for all students enrolled in a SI-supported course, including using it to push announcements for schedule changes and as a hub for quick shifts to virtual sessions during a weather-related closure
    • Workshop curriculum was updated to correspond with revised and streamlined handouts
    • The Level Up Workshop Series was developed and successfully implemented in Spring 2022. Level Up is a 4-part workshop series that engages students in self-reflection, addresses previous academic challenges, and develops a plan to move forward. This series is recommended for students on academic grade probation or students looking to overcome academic setbacks.
    • GS 29001 curriculum was revised for fall 2021 and modified based on feedback for spring 2022; enrollment has continued to be low since the shift to pre-registration
    • Accountability groups were piloted, including the spring pilot of a group for student with executive functioning support needs in partnership with the Disability Resource Center
  • Partnerships:
    • Onboarding New Student Efforts: The ASC collaborated with the Orientation office to redevelop and facilitate new Academic Success sessions during Boiler Gold Rush (fall beginners), Boiler Gold Rush-International, and Boiler Cold Rush (spring beginners). The collaboration has also expanded into the First Year Success Project including the next iteration of Learning Online 101 (self-paced modules on study skills) and a first-semester weekly messaging campaign.
    • Learning Online 101: The Innovative Learning team was charged with creating self-paced, online modules to help students strengthen their approaches to learning in online and hybrid classroom contexts. The ASC served as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and developed module content related to time management, class engagement, note-taking, and study strategies. All Purdue undergraduate students were automatically enrolled in the modules through Brightspace; graduate students, faculty, and staff could request access as well. This effort will continue and broaden to a variety of learning environments.
    • Academic Probation Support: In fall 2020, the ASC in addition to other partners in Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Dean of Students began a new outreach effort to students who were on academic probation or who would have been placed on academic probation had the spring 2020 policies been temporarily modified due to the pandemic. Each week, students received a message about a success tip based on research and quotes from students who have previously been on academic probation and returned to good standing. This effort was continued into spring 2021 with two messaging groups – students on probation for the first time (never received messaging) and students repeating probation (have received first set of messages). Efforts to assess the outreach and increase quotes/messages are part of the 2021-2022 plan.
  • Staffing:
    • A new program coordinator for the SI program began in June 2022, and we have been able to operate at full staff.
    • Several graduate assistants (GAs) who had been with the ASC for several years graduated in May 2022. With the hiring of four new GAs, we opted to specialize each position to help with GA recruitment and defined responsibilities.
    • The Student Office Ambassador (SOA) role expanded to include opportunities to serve as a workshop facilitator, accountability group facilitator, or to work on social media and outreach efforts. The shift in the SOA responsibilities better aligns the role with our student leader competencies.
  • Changes in the 2022-23 Academic Year
    • The ASC was charged with owning the Academic Case Manager (ACM) project. Currently the project includes ACMs from outside of the ASC in addition to some ASC staff.
    • On August 5, 2022, the Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the Academic Success Center in honor of co-founder Helen Bass Williams. The ASC celebrated this renaming dedication and our 50th anniversary on Sept. 23, 2022. In addition to the renaming, the ASC also added a page on the website to help raise awareness of Helen Bass Williams and her impact at Purdue and beyond.

Our Data

For a full picture of our data from the 2021-22 academic year, please view or download our Full Annual Report by clicking the button below.

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