13ARCA typical morning inside Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Assessment and Retention Center, commonly referred to as the ARC, begins with the opportunity to help make a positive contribution to a student’s educational journey. Quite often, students visit the ARC seeking personal, one-on-one assistance.

Students express emotions ranging from excitement about having made the decision to return to school to apprehension about the academic challenges they may face wh ile being in class with younger students. Students at FTCC represent a diverse population, with some students attending immediately after high school graduation and others attending several years later. The return to the classroom experience after many years can understandably cause anxiety for some students. At the ARC, people receive reassurance that they have made a smart choice to study at FTCC, where every student is important and appreciated.

The ARC staff is comprised of part-time employees and some FTCC students who spend a portion of their days working in addition to attending classes.

Students who use the resources at the ARC are quite often seeking assistance with class registration, navigating and understanding Blackboard (an internet platform used for online classes), and utilizing WebAdvisor, a student portal where a great deal of academic information is stored, such as classes completed and grades for completed classes. At the ARC, students also receive technical assistance with student email, resetting passwords and other technical issues.

FTCC recently collaborated with Ellucian to implement a new technology tool that serves to improve the communication between advisors and advisees. Ellucian Advise has the capability to increase student success by giving advisors the ability to view students’ overall “success picture,” based on pre-configured criteria. Ellucian Advise creates alerts when students fall below a specific grade point average or experience class absences or missed assignments. Ellucian Advise is a great technological tool for helping students stay on track to reach their academic goals.

Staff members at the ARC recognize that working with caring faculty and staff is just as important as great technology for student success. With that in mind, the ARC staff reaches out to students who may be struggling. Working with instructors, ARC staff will inform students about available help and resources, such as on-campus free tutoring, counseling and online resources.

Staff members at the ARC feel the opportunity to work with students and a caring staff and faculty at FTCC is very rewarding. As an ARC supervisor, I especially enjoy offering additional encouragement and support to students I see around campus who have visited the ARC. One of the greatest joys is seeing students march across the stage at graduation to begin their new careers or continue their education at four-year colleges.

The ARC is located inside the Tony Rand Student Center at the Fayetteville campus. Visit to learn why over 40,000 students annually make the choice to study at FTCC.

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