Supporting Student Success

By Susan Liebau, Asst Dean of Students & Director of the Waino Wahtera Center

As a faculty member, you have many opportunities in class, lab, office hours, and other places to engage with your students. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel a student may need additional direction or assistance, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success staff is happy to step in. We can meet and work directly with students on specific and/or underlying challenges and get them connected to other services on campus. 

The Wahtera Center houses a variety of programs and services that provide direction for transition and support for academic success at Michigan Tech. This includes Orientation and New Student Programs, success courses, Student Disability Services, the ExSEL and ExSEL Plus programs, peer-to-peer academic success coaching, and coordinated outreach to students at critical points in the semester (like midterm for first-year students) or who may be facing individual challenges at any time in the semester.

Academic success coaches work one-on-one with students on critical skills and habits that impact academic success, as well have discussions about balance and overall well-being. Coaches provide guidance on effective time management practices, help students develop or refine study habits, and generally are individual point people for helping students develop personal accountability.

The Center is a part of Student Affairs at Michigan Tech and has strong working relationships with areas on campus that are often critical for student success like Counseling Services, Student Financial Services, the Registrar and academic advisors. The physical Wahtera Center space is shared by the Dean of Students area so it is convenient for us to collaborate if a situation requires involvement from that area. You don’t need to have a full understanding of what a student is facing to encourage them to work with our office or for you to contact us to make a referral. Also, if you aren’t sure who to talk to about a student issue, we can assist. We are located on the first floor (130) of the Administration Building. Contact us at (906) 487-3558 or email