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Student at CSES support desk

Center for Student Engagement and Success

The Center for Student Engagement and Success (CSES) is a first-stop, one-stop resource for students on campus who need help and are not sure where to go or who to contact.

About CSES

Designed to bolster student success, CSES provides timely and helpful resources. If we cannot provide direct support, we will work with you to locate an office or department on campus that can help with specialized knowledge, services, and skills to meet your needs.

CSES is designed to connect, coordinate, and integrate campus services, resources, programs, and offices to improve your educational quality so that you have a smooth transition from orientation all the way through graduation.


Phillips Library
24/7 Lounge & Study Hub


Sunday-Thursday 7-10 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 2-5 p.m.

How can student success coaches support students?

CSES knows that the transition to remote learning/instruction can be stressful, and the CSES Student Success Coaches are here to help you develop a plan for managing your online classes successfully. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, success coaches can help you get organized and assist you with creating a strategy for each of your courses so that we can ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to support your academic success.

We can help you develop and refine skills that are critical to success in online courses, such as time management and communicating effectively with your instructor and classmates. Finally, you can talk to a Success Coach about anything going on in your life, and we can suggest other campus resources that may be able to help.

Online appointments are available

While classes are redirected to the online environment, success coaching is available. During online success coaching sessions, students will have an opportunity to work with a success coach just as they would in face-to-face success coaching sessions

If you do not have reasonable access for online appointments, appointments can be held over the phone.

Contact our Success Coaches to make your appointment.

Contact a Student Success Coach to schedule your appointment today:

Alice Creasman

Jose Del Valle

Tools for Academic Success Workshops

students in CSES

CSES hosts weekly workshops every Tuesday at 4 p.m. geared toward helping you be successful in college and the world beyond. Workshop topics range from time management tips for college students and test-taking skills, to research methods or personal coping strategies. We bring experts from across campus to present on a topic and answer all of your questions.

Watch the TAS Workshops

Visit our CSES calendar to see upcoming TAS Workshops.

Meet the CSES Staff

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D.

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D.

Vice President and Chief Equity & People Officer

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Gayle Luksic

Executive Assistant

Kristin Sites

Kristin Sites

Associate Director of Learning and Success

Alice Creasman

Alice Creasman

Student Success Coach

Jose M. Del Valle

Jose M. Del Valle

Student Success Coach


See our full directory.

See More

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Center for Student Engagement and Success (CSES)?

The Center for Student Engagement and Success is a first-stop resource for students who need help. CSES staff can answer everyday questions about academics, personal life and professional success, as well as coordinate services as complex as helping students map an individual success plan for their four years at Mount St. Mary’s University. CSES’s unique position is intended to help integrate campus resources to enhance the student experience.

What is CSES's vision, mission and goals?


The Center for Student Engagement and Success aspires to provide an increased learning environment and quality experience that engages all students to become nation’s most promising ethical global leaders.


The Center for Student Engagement and Success is a first-stop resource to empower students to reach personal, academic and professional success.


  1. To increase student persistence and academic achievement by providing appropriate academic support.
  2. To provide personal support for students through a holistic approach to their development.
  3. To link students with professional content and resources to support educational attainment and advancement.

Where did the idea for CSES come from?

Student retention has always been an important goal at the Mount. In the spring of 2016, the Board of Trustees identified the need for all students to feel engaged and successful to increase retention, persistence and four-year graduation rates. In meeting these goals, the Mount will align with nationwide trends and best practices.

Which campus population is CSES intended to serve?

CSES is here to help all students. CSES can also help departments advertise their events, news and programs. It can also help strategize solutions based on changing student needs. In time, CSES aims to provide training and workshops for faculty, staff and administration to mobilize the Mount community to provide unique help and guidance for our students.

How will CSES avoid duplicating efforts of other student services across campus?

CSES exists as a resource to help students access campus services. When students have questions about any personal, academic or professional need, they are encouraged to contact CSES. If CSES cannot provide direct support, a staff member will direct students to an office or department on campus that can help with specialized knowledge, services and skills. In the future, CSES will help the university identify gaps in student services from a student perspective, and then offer solutions and resources to fill the gaps to enhance student success at the Mount.

What type of support can CSES offer to students?

Questions that can be directed to CSES staff vary, but include things like:

  • What resources are available to help me balance athletics and school?
  • Where do I go if I need tutoring or writing services?
  • Who do I talk to about getting a job or internship?
  • I think I want to transfer/drop out – what do I do now?
  • What kinds of clubs/activities are happening at the Mount?
  • Which major should I choose?
  • I’m having trouble with a friend/relationship/family – who can I talk to?

While CSES will be able to provide direct support for some of these inquiries, often the goal of the CSES is to operate as a clearinghouse by connecting students with offices or departments on campus that specialize in student services.

Who will staff CSES?

In the immediate future, the CSES office administrator and staff, student intern/mentor, or a volunteer from the Student, Faculty, or Administrator/Staff Advisory Council will staff the desk at CSES. All CSES desk staff will be trained with resources to direct students to appropriate campus resources.

How will CSES define and measure “engagement” and “success?"

Engagement is two-fold. It refers to the effort, time and energy a student spends in educational purposeful activities both inside and outside of the classroom (student behaviors) and the policies and practices that institutions use to induce students to participate (institutional conditions). Success includes graduating in four years with a quality education and a positive campus experience.

How is CSES different than a traditional retention office?

Early retention offices operated independently with a single focus on retention strategies. Today, vibrant retention programs support constructing strong and effective connections among the various components of a campus community. CSES coordinates institution-wide approaches that support strategic objectives, connects students with different campus resources, and identifies practices to help students succeed at the Mount.

As CSES grows, what are some of its long-term goals?

CSES is growing steadily and offering limited services as resources permit. In the future, CSES plans to achieve the following goals:

  • Train 15-20 Peer Leaders (student mentors) to assist in operating CSES.
  • Train Success Coaches who will work closely with students to help define, plan, and execute their roadmap to success through academic, personal, and professional goals.
  • Find a larger space for extended lounge and study areas, small private meeting rooms/work spaces, and additional computers and device charging stations.

Where is the center located and how can I learn more?

CSES is located in the 24-hour pod in Phillips Library. You are welcome to use the space throughout the day and night. Peer Leaders will staff the center Monday through Thursday from 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm and Sunday 7pm-10pm. A vending machine is available 24 hours a day. The best ways to connect with CSES is dropping by during business hours, scheduling an appointment with our Success Coaches or emailing