Lorett Swank, Chief Student Success Officer


The mission of the Center for Student Excellence is to work in partnership with the University academic departments and campus community to assist students in becoming active, responsible, and successful learners. The center is committed to creating an environment which fosters student development and retention.

To fulfill this mission, the Center for Student Excellence (CSE) provides freshman advising and academic coaching, the Southeastern (SE) 101: Freshman Academic Success course, Southeastern (SE) 102: Freshman Academic Coaching Seminar, as well as, tutoring in select subjects for all students, a Transfer Student Coordinator, and Academic and Career Exploration (ACE) Coaches for Southeastern students no longer served by their first-year advisors.

Professional academic advisors/coaches are assigned to assist all incoming freshmen (new and transfer students with less than 30 hours). First-year students meet individually with their professional advisor/coach throughout the semester to discuss academic and career goals, grade progress, obstacles, and other concerns. Advisors also help first year students learn about and understand academic plans, curriculum and/or program requirements, general education requirements, prerequisites, and course selection.

SE 101, the University’s required academic success course for beginning freshmen, is a two-hour credit graded success course which aims to provide first year students with the tools needed to manage the emotional, social, and academic transition to the university. It is designed to help cultivate effective and adaptable behaviors, develop successful academic strategies, and to connect with professional advisors to explore career options, academic plans, and target the skills needed to be a successful college student.

For students that experience academic challenges, the CSE offers an Academic Recovery Program where students can participate in counselor-led groups and/or individual meetings with a CSE advisor/coach. The Academic Recovery Program is designed to help students identify and develop the tools, skills, and support necessary to recover their grade point average and to regain "good" academic standing with the University as quickly as possible. As an added resource, students are also eligible to enroll in the SE 102: Freshman Academic Coaching Seminar, which is a one-credit hour course that provides student-focused academic coaching by engaging and encouraging students to identify the personal and academic strategies necessary to succeed as college students.

The Tinsley Learning Center (TLC), a College Reading and Learning Association Certified lab, offers a variety of educational resources where students are empowered to cultivate the skills needed for life-long learning. These resources include in-person, small group tutoring sessions; free access to NetTutor, an on-line tutoring service company; peer assisted study sessions; Supplemental Instruction for select courses; presentation critique for Capstone classes and a variety of study skill workshops.

Academic and Career Exploration (ACE) Coaches provide academic and career coaching for students in transition that are no longer served by first-year advisors. Students needing support reaching their academic goals can work with ACE coaches who help students in developing study strategies, study structure, and study habits. The ACE Coach works in collaboration with department heads, faculty advisors, and undergraduate coordinators to identify and support students that are not progressing in their degree program, unsure about their major, and/or need assistance researching other majors and related occupations.

The Transfer Student Coordinator provides transition assistance to incoming transfer students with over 30 credit hours working to create a transfer-friendly campus that prioritizes transfer enrollment and identifies specific strategies aligned with student needs and the university’s goals. The Coordinator understands that transfer students are unique and works to eliminate “transfer shock” by providing information for transfer students pertaining to Southeastern policies, procedures, advising structures, terminology, learning platform, academic expectations, student engagement opportunities, etc. The Coordinator serves as an initial point-of-contact for transfer students referring students to appropriate departmental offices, academic departments, faculty, and support services. The Coordinator collaborates with admissions and academic departments to determine course equivalency determinations and appropriate major. The Coordinator also works with academic departments to establish clear paths for transfer students to pursue their major while maximizing their transfer credit.