New CSO Focuses on the Student Experience
Many Alma College students seek out-of-classroom experiences. They study abroad, complete internships that provide real-world experience, volunteer with organizations that address community needs, and work side-by-side with faculty in their research labs.
With the goal of ensuring that all Alma students have equal opportunities for these kinds of transformational experiences, Alma College plans to launch the Center for Student Opportunity during the fall 2012 term.
Construction is under way for the Center for Student Opportunity.
Stationed in renovated space in the Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center, the CSO will house in a single location a wide range of support services for students, says Nick Piccolo, vice president for student life.
“In my mind, I picture this as a place of energy and excitement, a marketplace for students to make the most out of their college experience,” says Piccolo. “There will be a synergy of having multiple offices located in a shared space with the sole purpose of focusing on the student experience.”
The CSO will house several existing offices, including Academic and Career Planning, Service Learning, and the Center for Responsible Leadership. These offices will work collaboratively with new student life services that prepare students for international experiences and to interact with confidence in an increasingly diverse society. The CSO also will expand services for international students.
One of the goals of the CSO is the development of a four-year student plan that will provide students with guidance through their four years of college — addressing both academic and student life components. Still in the developmental stage, the student plan, to be called the Alma Commitment, will include the opportunity for an applied experience outside of the classroom in the junior year for all students.
Staffing for some elements of the CSO will be supported in part by the six-year, $700,000 State of Michigan King-Chavez-Parks Select Student Support Services Grant.
CSO will be located in space previously assigned to the Kiltie Korner Bookstore and Jones Auditorium in the Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center.
Karen Klumpp’s appointment as director of the CSO/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs is effective Aug. 14. An Alma College staff member for more than 33 years, Klumpp will direct the implementation of the CSO and oversee its long-term operational success.
Laura von Wallmenich, a member of the English faculty since 2001, has been appointed Interim Associate Vice President for Student Opportunity and Diversity. She will lead campus efforts to better serve economically disadvantaged students and to establish a strong multicultural presence on campus.
Posted: Wed, June 13th, 2012 at 3:43PM