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APEX brings together student resources

Whitney Siders

News Editor

Along with other visible changes on campus, APEX is now open in the basement of Gault Library. This new construction offers a space that combines Academic Advising, the Learning Center, Career Services and Experiential Learning.

Dean of Curriculum and Academic Engagement, Henry Kruezman, explained how the offices housed in APEX will now function as compared to past years.

“These resources were located on the boundaries of campus, and so it was not the most convenient way for students to get to those resources.” APEX can be reached through the existing entrance to the Registrar’s office and as well as through the basement of Andrews Library.

Dean Kruezman said that, as was anticipated, APEX is “bringing people together. These offices are collaborating.”

As for what APEX will actually be ‘doing’ for students, Dean Kruezman draws attention to the APEX mission: APEX encourages students to become passionately engaged in their education and to empower them to make informed, intentional choices about academic, personal and professional opportunities.

“[APEX] will help students develop an intentional educational plan that will actually lend to a post-Wooster trajectory,” said Dean Kreuzman, “which could be graduate school, career opportunities, professional school, or law school.”

The liberal arts are often challenged because of a lacking career preparation and this is the college’s attempt to combat that.

“APEX will help move the college forward by being a way of helping students think about the skills and knowledge that they acquire as liberal arts students in a larger context.” Dean Kreuzman went on to explain that higher education believes in the liberal arts as it provides “a good foundation for all kinds of career opportunities.”

“In fact, when you ask employers for the characteristics that you want in employees, they are the characteristics that the liberal arts fosters,” Kreuzman said. “You have to be active and engaged employees just as our students are active and engaged learners.”

Conversations that the administration has had with alumni of the college have revealed the need for more emphasis on career preparation. Dean Kruezman explains that about eight years ago administration took a close look at the process of advising. “While we had a good one-on-one faculty advising relationship, we had advising resources on campus that students weren’t taking advantage of.”

In spring of 2010, Administration identified five strategic priorities, which are answered in part by CoRE and APEX.

“CoRE speaks to our I.S. program, and APEX speaks to student educational planning and advising and integrating theory and practice,” explained Kreuzman.

In June of 2011, following graduation, the physical construction of APEX began. Dean Kruezman also speaks to the further development of each component of APEX.

“In terms of new resources we have put two-and-a-half new staff lines into helping students move forward n their careers and to get internships.” A new staff person, Associate Director of Internships, has been added and Career Services now has an Assistant Director of Employer and Graduate School Outreach. John Ramsey has also been named the Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, splitting his time with the Math Department. The new director of Entrepreneurship will also split his time between the Center for Entrepreneurship in Morgan Hall and APEX.

Dean Kreuzman emphasizes that “it’s not just the space; it is an intentional effort to put more resources here. It helps us exceed other liberal arts schools of our size in terms of resources devoted to students’ long term trajectory. We have heard student concerns that they want a more robust career services, and they want more guidance on internships, so that’s what we are doing.”

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