University Relations and Communications

MSUB names director of the Academic Support Center

 

 Dr. John Gillette began his duties on Monday as Director of MSUB’s Academic Support Center

January 7, 3016

 

Contacts:

Dr. John Gillette, Academic Support Center, 657-1714
Dr. Matt Redinger, Vice Provost, 657-2204

 

The center serves about 1,800 students annually with tutoring and classes in math, writing, reading, science, foreign languages and psychology.

 

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — John Gillette was recently named director of Montana State University Billings’ Academic Support Center. He began his duties Monday.

 

As director of the ASC, Gillette will provide administrative oversight, visionary leadership and direction for all aspects of student academic support programming. The Academic Support Center provides academic support services to undergraduate and graduate students.

 

“We are very fortunate to have someone with John’s depth of knowledge and experience leading our academic support programming,” said Vice Provost Matt Redinger, who co-chaired the search committee. “He will be instrumental in the university’s ability to retain students and promote academic excellence. As the university focuses more intentionally on factors leading to student success, John's work in the ASC will prove particularly important."

 

Since its inception in 2001, the center has grown from its centralized location in the Student Union Building to include locations at City College, the College of Business and an online writing lab, with nearly 80 certified tutors serving about 1,800 students annually.

 

Gillette said he is excited to help students refine and strengthen their academic skills necessary for success at MSU Billings.

 

“The Academic Support Center plays a critical role in that even highly accomplished students have gaps in their skillset. All students can benefit from academic supportive services,” Gillette said. “We must take this responsibility seriously.”

 

Gillette said his goal is to make certain that students are provided with the skills and confidence needed to either seamlessly transfer within the Montana University System or step into their professional fields.

 

“The goal of the program isn’t simply to help students pass their classes,” he said. “It’s to teach students to become independent learners and have confidence in their abilities.”

 

A priority, he said, is to support the implementation of student success tools such as an early alert system that would allow faculty to be proactive, supportive and involved in facilitating early detection and intervention of students who are struggling with their coursework.

 

The center, he said, will reach out to students who have been identified within the alert system with an invitation to receive tutoring and other supportive services, a cost that is rolled into student fees paid at the beginning of each semester. 

 

Gillette comes to the university with a background in education and academic support programming. Most recently, he was director of the Writing Center at Henderson State University in Arkansas. He has also served as tenured professor of English and speech at Gateway College, professor of intercultural communication at Pennsylvania Governor’s School for International Studies and visiting assistant professor of rhetoric at Allegheny College.

 

Gillette attended New College of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American literature and a master’s degree in rhetoric and composition from New Mexico State University. He earned in 2005 his Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of Pittsburgh.