For Immediate Release
All Zones
December 2, 2001
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Office of Marketing and Communications
Great Minds Under Construction

The Center for Supplemental Instruction at IU Northwest hosted an all day kick-off session for IUNís new Student Mentors and Resource Team (S.M.A.R.T.) program run by upperclassmen undergraduates and faculty of the university on Tuesday, December 2 in the Moraine Student Center on campus.

With the closing of the semester and final exams near, the S.M.A.R.T. program kicked off this yearís session to "Great Minds Under Construction", encompassed by the theme "Exam-A-Rama".  The session evolved around the "tools you need to succeed"; students encountered faculty and mentors wearing hard hats in a center that appeared to be a construction zone. 

As a mentoring and academic resource program, S.M.A.R.T. is designed to enhance the experience of first-year students and facilitate a smooth transition into a college atmosphere.  Peer mentors and supervisory faculty provide ongoing support for new students in the S.M.A.R.T. Center, an
environment where students gather to learn about college life, the expectations, the realities, and the secrets to academic success.

Besides encouraging pro-active learning and positive reinforcement, the program helps students overcome the fear of approaching faculty members by communicating to students that professors are not opponents, but caring allies that are committed to student success. 

"We saw an immediate need to implement a mentoring program in which faculty and students could interact on a regular basis outside the classroom," says Judy Zeilenga, Director of Supplemental Instruction.  "Designing such a program demonstrates our commitment to the Shared Vision of IU Northwest by promoting academic excellence and well-being through an attractive and convenient environment conducive to learning."

S.M.A.R.T. will also provide students and mentors an integrated and coherent way of interacting, discussing and reflecting upon their achievements and ways they might improve.

The S.M.A.R.T. program is a new initiative at IU Northwest, one of  several being funded through the monies provided by the State of Indiana to improve student retention.  

"The peer (student) and faculty mentoring built into this program will enable IUN students to engage more quickly and more successfully in the academic culture of the university," commented Dr. Virginia Helm, 

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.  "That is how we can help them achieve the academic excellence to which our Shared Vision has committed all of us ­ students, faculty and staff."  Dr. Helm added that she is "impressed with the leadership shown by Judy Zeilenga in conceptualizing and implementing this exciting program," and she further expressed "appreciation for the support of the faculty and Dr. Joe Pellicciotti in bringing the program to fruition."

"Great Minds Under Construction" was sponsored by Strack & Van Tilís, LEW General Contractor, and Web Construction, Inc.  For more information on the Center for Supplemental Instruction and the new S.M.A.R.T. program, contact Judy Zeilenga at (219) 981-4296. 


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