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Corrick Center closes

Student: ‘We were lied to’


President Szymanski and Denise Gorsline, Dean of University College, annouce to students in the CMU on Tuesday that the Corrick Center will be closed. CHRIS FRANZ / chrisfranzphoto.blogspot.com

On Tuesday, administrators shocked students by announcing the closing of the Corrick Center.

That evening, the Task Force on Student Graduation and Retention Rate Improvement held an open forum informational meeting in the CMU for students.

The meeting was led by President Edna Szymanski, Denise Gorsline, dean of the university college and Ted Gracyk, chair of the task force. Other university deans and task force members were also in attendance.

“Nothing changes for this semester,” Gorsline said. She and Szymanski said the university faculty and staff will work with current Corrick Center students to help them adjust to the change and assimilate into main campus classes.

“Everyone here is working together to put together a team of advisers to help you,” Szymanski said. “This is about you and it’s about your own way to success.”

Despite these reassurances, students are upset, not only by the decision to close the Corrick Center, but the way they were informed about it. Some students said they felt as if they were lied to.

Earlier this year there were rumors about closing the Corrick Center, but according to Corrick Center student and mentor Sara Fritz, the students were told that it would not be closed.

“There was about 35 students that marched down to Denise and we met with her in like Octoberish I think,” Fritz said, “and we were told right away that it was a rumor that the Corrick Center was going to be closed, that that would not happen.”

“We were lied to,” Corrick Center student Patrick Richard said. “They said they weren’t gonna shut it down, that they were gonna revise it, and now they shut it down.”

Fritz said she understands that a change would have been made, but she just thought it was handled unprofessionally.

Gorsline said that this was a decision that evolved over time, which is partly why students may feel misinformed.

“More information about the decision emerged, and that led us in a different direction,” Gorsline said. “If you stuck to your first decision all the time and didn’t consider additional information, that would be wrong.”

“The data has shown that the Corrick Center students have the same retention rates as the rest of the campus for their first two years, but after that third year they start to drop off,” Szymanski said, “That’s after they’ve been with us for two years and have already accumulated a bunch of debt.” Szymanski said that part of the reasoning behind this decision was to avoid putting students in that position.

The decision was based on a number of reasons and extensive research done by the task force. Gorsline and Szymanski both strongly believe that it is the best decision for students in the long run.

They said the university will put forth a strong effort to help students transition.

“We will reach out to students as they will let us reach to them,” Gorsline said. She said they will openly advise with students, and help them evaluate their options for potential majors at MSUM or potential transferring.
Additionally, the university is working to put together a specialized team of advisors to help with this change.

Students at the meeting were not only concerned about themselves, but also concerned about their professors. The current Corrick Center faculty will have the opportunity to request to teach in their department within the main campus.

“They have the same rights as everybody else on campus,” Szymanski said, meaning that because their department has been closed does not necessarily mean they will be laid off.

Although they are upset about the change, both Fritz and Richard said they feel will be okay.

“It’s gonna be somewhat of a change for me, but I think I’ll be okay, down the road,” Richard said.

As a mentor for the Corrick Center learning community, Fritz said she will advise the students to keep and open mind and “don’t get down and don’t get discouraged.”

To read more from this writer, view her blog at charlyhaley.blogspot.com

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