New assisstant dean appointed

Jojo McBride

Staff Writer

Tamara Jones, formerly the Troy campus registrar, has been appointed assistant dean of first

year studies.

Jones said she intends to bring along some of her former duties into her new position such as

inputting schedules and certification of athletes.

However, Jones is also taking on new tasks as she enters this office.

“The new duties are going to include some special projects, working with retention, at-risk

students, doing some special reports, doing some analysis and seeing where we can go to help

our students,” Jones said.

She said she is excited about becoming the assistant dean of first year studies.

Having worked in records for 25 years, Jones said it’s going to be something new and

challenging but she is interested in helping the students.

“Now I get to actually help the students,” Jones said. “I get to encourage them to do their


Jones’ job is focused on student success and retention as well as helping students understand

how to deal with probation or suspension.

A goal of first year studies for the year is keeping down suspensions and following up on

students who are already on probation.

“If we can keep 10 to 15 students here that we normally would lose, I see that as a success,”

Jones said.

Jones said that first year studies has multiple services available to students who need help in

their studies.

There is the Natural Science Center that tutors sciences and math, the Writing Center,

student counselors and the placement office.

All of these services are available in the Eldridge Hall Student Services Center.

Jones said she is very excited to be working one-on-one with students.

“I’m looking forward to getting over there so that I can actually sit down and talk to the

students,” she said.

First year studies has been working on student success and retention rates. However, as of

right now there is no one to monitor the students who did not come into the university as

conditional but are almost at a point of probation.

One of the things Jones hopes to do is find a way to monitor those at-risk students in their

academic career.

Though they concentrate on students in their first year to help students transition from high

school to college, the first year studies program helps students regardless of classification.

“I think if you can get through that first year then it’s not quite as a shock,” Jones said.

She explained that students who are the first in their family to go to college do not have

someone to help them know what to expect and that’s where first year studies wants to help.

Jones said first year studies hopes to pilot a program soon that monitors and contacts at risk

students to be able to catch them early on before probation or suspension happens.

Jones said she hopes to get the program in the works this fall.

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