The mission of Xavier’s Student Academic Success Office (SASO) is to improve retention and graduation rates of Xavier students by offering academic support through tutoring, supplemental instruction (SI), and academic success workshops. These services were originally offered only to freshman and transfer students taking introductory courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. Writing and Reading centers are also available to all Xavier students through this office. Using BUILD funding support, SASO has expanded its tutoring services and supplemental instruction to include sophomore level courses.
OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES
The mission of the Office of Career Services is to provide opportunities which assist students in exploring career options through job search preparation and pre-professional experiences. Using BUILD support, OCS has expanded its services including preparing students for careers in biomedical fields.
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity uses BUILD support to provide an enhanced, integrated university-wide graduate placement pipeline through engaging students in undergraduate research, assisting them in the application process for graduate programs, and ultimately increasing the enrollment of Xavier students in graduate school.
FACULTY PILOT RESEARCH PROJECTS
To assure engagement of Xavier students in quality research experiences, it is important to have a faculty who are nationally research competitive. Toward this end, to address the need for junior faculty mentoring and release time, the need to expand Xavier’s collaborative research network, and to expose our undergraduates to a broader range of research opportunities mentored and guided by a Xavier and often a partner institution faculty member, pilot projects are being funded. Initially it was anticipated that 5 pilot projects per year would be awarded. However, Xavier was able to partner with two other programs and awarded 13 projects in year 2 engaging 32 students. Pilot Project applicants/awardees fall into one of the following two categories: (1) recently hired faculty who need start-up funding and (2) more experienced, but untenured investigators with current or recently terminated external grant support who are seeking bridge funds to keep their laboratories functioning while they seek longer term external funding. Pilot project PIs are expected to work with BUILD Scholars and other Xavier undergraduates seeking research experiences to develop a well-defined research experience and, where applicable, to identify a collaborator from a partner institution who also will involve students in their lab during the summer. In addition, the Xavier investigator is required to participate in BUILD related activities such as mentor training workshops, grant writing workshops and relevant inter-institutional research seminars.
PREPARING MENTORS AND ADVISORS AT XAVIER
P-MAX is a program that is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to mentor and advise undergraduate students, especially those engaged in research. Ultimately, the goal of P-MAX is to assist faculty in developing effective relationships with their mentees.