The Library Learning Commons is excited to welcome Director of the Office of Academic Success Thomas (Tom) Tylee. Tom started at Chadron State College on January 2nd and hit the ground running for the Spring semester. Tom comes to us from Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) in Scottsbluff, where he worked from 2012-2017.
The Director of the Office of Academic Success position encompasses the duties performed by the previous Learning Center Coordinator, as well as incorporating some new functions. The Office of Academic Success is now part of Academic Affairs, under the purview of Dean Jim Margetts.
The Office of Academic Success encompasses three main areas:
- The Learning Center, which will continue coordinating tutoring directly with departments, walk-in tutoring, writing assistants, supplemental instruction, and supervised study hall.
- Career and Academic Planning Services, which will still be staffed by Deena Kennell and Janet Hartman. The unit will continue to provide major exploration, career services, and internships.
- Academic Support and Intervention, which includes initiatives like Early Alert and Back on Track. While CSC has done these in the past, they fall under the same umbrella now. New initiatives will be to conduct workshops to help students build success skills and to develop ways to support advising efforts.
Tom is excited about the opportunity to create a campus-wide impact, drawing on many of the skills he’s honed in his career. Tom’s first teaching job was at the tender age of 16, when he spent his junior year of high school in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. In the evenings, he taught English to people ranging in ages from 4 to 68. After that first teaching experience, he spent time doing many odd jobs – he made bicycle helmets, wrangled horses in Wyoming, and did a tourism survey of Idaho. While attending classes to be a commercial pilot, he worked as an English tutor. He quickly found he enjoyed English more than aviation, and decided to change his career goals to be an English teacher. Most of Tom’s experience in the classroom has been as a Transitional Studies Faculty member, teaching developmental writing. He has also spent a fair amount of years working in Writing Centers. At WNCC, his main focuses were in advising and international recruitment and retention.
Tom sees persistence and completion as his two main areas of focus for this year. He understands the struggles many students face, having failed his first semester and nearly dropping out of college. He readily admits that he didn’t like college until he had a reason to be there, and he knows firsthand the importance of motivation and interest – both self-directed and from the classroom.
If you’d like to discuss any academic success initiatives with Tom, his office is in The Learning Center on the main floor of the LLC. And he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-432-6381.