Clark State Community College will continue to provide a variety of support services and health and wellness options for students who may have concerns outside of the classroom; however, the services will now be available in the new Office of Student Support services located in Rhodes Hall on Clark State’s Springfield campus on Leffel Lane. The on-campus food pantry, school supply donations, clothes/coat closet will also be housed in the Office of Student Support.
“Many of our students deal with challenges relating to financial concerns, housing and food insecurities, physical or health well-being or social and adjustment issues,” said Nina Wiley, dean of student engagement and support services. “The Office of Student Support will provide outreach, resources, referrals and follow-up services to foster student growth and success.”
John Minter, customer service specialist for Clark State, will split time between his current position in the Financial Aid office with time in the Office of Student Support Services.
Minter said some of the resources available to students include: housing information, food security, state and federal benefits, childcare, utility assistance, transportation and emergency funding. The Food Pantry is available on the first Wednesday of every month.
“Assisting students in being successful will not only help the student, but will have a residual effect on the community,” he said.
Faculty, staff and other students can help by referring students to the Student Support Services office. “These services have pretty much always been available; however, Clark State has made it easier for students to obtain services by centralizing the location for referral,” said Minter.
“I’m excited to work with students, faculty and staff as well as the administration in an effort that I believe will have a lasting impact on our students and this community,” said Minter.
Katie Rismiller is an instructor in the Registered Nursing program at Clark State. She also will assist in the Office of Student Support.
“It is evident students are faced with challenging responsibilities outside of demands of their coursework,” she said. “Managing these ‘outside’ responsibilities can take time and energy away from coursework and contribute to students not continuing. We want to alleviate some of that stress by working with students to empower them as they face outside challenges.”
Rismiller said the Clark State Student Support Services team will work together with the student to locate and navigate needed resources, and refer students – as needed - to additional campus resources, such as success coaches, the Counseling Center and TRiO.
"If a student needs help of any type, send them to us," said Rismiller. “We will figure out the best plan of action and the best resources for the student's situation and direct them to the expert they need. If we can't help them at Clark State, we will work to find them community resources.”