Faculty and administrators at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) are poised to help students graduate in four years, as part of our University strategic plan.
One of those administrators is Brittanian Gamble, director of the Undergraduate Student Success Center (USSC).
Developing student learning centers, funding bridge programs and increasing the amount of tutors are all areas in which Gamble and her staff have improved the Center. Gamble’s work was recently recognized as she humbly accepted the Outstanding Advising Administrator Award. The award was presented by the Florida Academic Advising Association at May’s Conference. Gamble was nominated by her peers and selected by the association.
“It was such a blessing and affirmation and confirmation that I am walking in my purpose,” Gamble said of the win. “If you work hard for a cause, it will pay off.”
Under her leadership, the USSC now boasts 40 advisors, doubling last year’s number of advisors. They have also implemented an advising software that allows advisors to document student advising records and implement an early alert system. This is of particular importance because academic advising may be a key factor for students earning degrees on time. It currently takes FAMU students an average of five years to earn a four-year degree.
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Marcella David, J.D., said over the past year, the newly introduced intrusive academic advising style has in fact increased our graduation rates.
“Our Undergraduate Student Success Center is on the frontline of our efforts to ensure student success,” David said. “Britt and her staff help students choose the right majors, and help them stay on track to graduate on time. The personal contact they provide students is invaluable!”
The Center was one of the first initiatives President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., put in place when she began her tenure in 2014. According to the website, the Center “supports student recruitment, retention, progression, and graduation through programming aimed at promoting student learning and assisting students in the establishment of critical thinking skills conducive to the core values of FAMU.”
Gamble insists that she alone cannot be credited for the success of the Center. She said that whatever she does, she does because of her love of the students.
“It is important that as servants we remember that the students come first, no matter what. We must look at things through a filter and determine, ‘Is what I’m doing in the best interest of the students?’ Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about us,” Gamble said.