Office for Student Success hopes to cut through red tape

Students who are not sure where they can go for further assistance with financial conflicts, grade disputes, and general feedback about their experience here at Pace are being encouraged to reach out to the Office of Student Success. Located in room Y31, just beyond a few vending machines on the second floor of west side of One Pace Plaza, the Office of Student Success is dedicated to helping students find strategies out of many complicating circumstances, and improving their general experience as students at Pace.

Christie Nadratowski, the advisor here at the NYC campus is responsible for a few things, such as meeting with students to discuss different, challenging situations-like finding more aid or disputing a grade-and then directing them toward the policies that will be the most helpful to them for whatever situation they find themselves in. The most common situations that are dealt with are financial, medical or retroactive withdrawals, and grade disputes with professors. They also try to improve the student experience by getting feedback from different student populations. The Office of Student Success then takes that feedback and turns it into real reports that can be used to make changes in other areas.

When asked why students may have a hard time resolving issues, director Christie Nadratowski says “I think that students have a hard time resolving issues at Pace because they don’t know what our policies are, or even where to find them. The course catalog has copies of the most common student academic policies, but most students would recognize the course catalog as quickly as they would recognize a phone book…, which is to say that they wouldn’t. However, even our online copy of the catalog isn’t as accessible to students as I would have expected. Also, when students are in the heat of the moment, they often do and say things that don’t help their case. I’m able to help students stay calm and think clearly and communicate with administrators in a way that helps everyone.” Nadratowski also noted “I don’t think as many students know about my office as I would like…”

Nadratowski welcomes students to come into her office for help with pretty much any situation that they find themselves in that they are not sure how to handle.

“My door is almost always open, and I really enjoy helping students get the best outcomes possible.”

Jackie Morales, sophomore, went to the Office of Student Success after there was a glitch in her financial aid that she didn’t know how to go about fixing. This glitch threatened her ability to remain in university housing.

“Not only did the Office of Student Success give me confidence that my problems would be solved, they actually guided me in the right direction and took action to help me, rather than just telling me that things would be alright without providing concrete information and plans.”

Following her meeting with Nadratowski, she was able to use the proper resources to go directly to the source of the problem and remain in university dorms.

Much like many other university students, Lauryn Matovich, junior, had not heard much about the Office of Student Success until she saw a friend who faced a challenging issue had it resolved through the office. “I thought that the Office of Student Success was only for academics, but I was definitely wrong. The Office of Student Success advocates for students, and not many people know that- I know I didn’t. It’s a great resource for students.”

Generally the best time to come to the Office of Student Success is between 10 and noon, and between 2 and 4pm, as Christie tends to be able to meet with students. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the walk-in hours every day, and to also take advantage of emailing and making phone calls to the office expecting just as prompt a response as discussing matters in person.

Nadratowski would also like to give students some significant advice: “Administrators need to hear student feedback (in a constructive way, of course!) so that we can improve services for you! My office is certainly not the only office that cares, so feel free to email or drop by different areas to let them know what they’re doing right and different ways that you’d appreciate it if they improved. It’s all about how you say it. But trust me, we’re listening, so please share!”

Students interested in contacting the Office of Student Success can contact (212) 346-1915 or e-mail the office at success@pace.edu. 

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