By: Emily Nickles, Page Editor
After the positive feedback and impact of the Pioneer Center on the TWU Denton campus, coined the “one-stop-shop for academic success,” the university has opened a new Pioneer Center on the TWU Houston campus. It opened its doors to students the week before school began. The official ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration will be held sometime in the fall.
The Center is located on the tenth floor of the Houston building in an open layout suite, Room 10300. The Center has a front lobby and desk area similar to Denton, and provides three rooms for holding study groups, workshops, and coaching sessions — decked with all the same technological abilities. In addition, the physical space will be open the hours the building is open.
According to Pioneer Center Executive Director Joshua Adams the intention was to provide the same services to Houston and Dallas as well, but while being 100 percent virtual (where mostly workshops would be broadcast), students did not receive the benefits of the other resources the Center offers. Adams shared: “It was a collaborative decision, we [had] identified the need from the different populations. Students were interested and excited about having a physical Pioneer Center in Houston, the faculty were interested as well as staff. So we thought it was a wonderful opportunity.”
As Executive Director, Adams will be traveling between the campuses in addition to managing Center activities and services on all three campuses. Recent TWU graduate Shaunon McClellan, has been hired as Academic Resources and Referral Specialist for the Houston campus. McClellan just received her Bachelors of Science in Health Studies this past May. Her job will consist of coordinating most workshops and events coming up.
In regards to what she sees the Center becoming, McClellan shared: “I am hoping that students will find the Pioneer Center a welcoming place, where they can come in and study, find services, and a sense of support that will enhance their overall academic experience, by helping them reach academic excellence during their time here at Texas Woman’s University.”
Dr. Adams referred back to what McClellan has been doing to inform students since the space opened: [“Shaunon was actually there last Monday, so we have been involved in all the orientation events on campus, Houston’s orientations run primarily this week… [so] she was invited to speak at some of the events. This next week, we’ll be doing some Meet & Greets, kind of like open house type events over the week or so.”] The last Meet & Greet event in the new space ended Tuesday afternoon.
McClellan observed some of the responses she’d been getting up to this point: “During this week we have had several students come in and view the space. So far, they have given good feedback and look forward to using the space to study.”
Students returning to classes this fall, who have come in and visited, have stated that it is much needed, due to the lack of study rooms available for students to use. I anticipate a high volume of students coming in to use the Pioneer Center.”
As far as what the Pioneer Center offers to students as a service, Adams shared: “I think the overall Center is incredibly valuable to our students because what we’ve been able to build physically, but also in terms of our programs and services is really kind of a one-stop-shop for student success. A student can come in with any needs, challenges, even successes if they want to take their academic life or skills to the next level. They can utilize the Pioneer Center, and we’ll be there to support them”