Connecting Students With Success
Tykeson Hall will serve as a key destination for students seeking support for academic and career pursuits
Student success at the University of Oregon is entering a new era with the opening of Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall.
As it has risen in the space between Johnson and Chapman halls, just a short walk from the Erb Memorial Union, this building in the heart of campus is an architectural marker of the UO’s continuing commitment to helping students find their educational home, graduate in a timely manner and pursue meaningful careers.
Twenty-three new advisors, six career readiness coaches and many other advising and support professionals fill this building with approachable, accessible student support and establish the building as a conduit to other student advising and resources across campus.
President Michael H. Schill contributed seed money to hiring the additional advisors as part of the UO’s redoubled effort to bolster student success.
“Every student can find a reason to enter the doors of Tykeson Hall, regardless of their major,” said Doneka Scott, vice provost for the Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success. “The resources within this building support our student success goals, which include meeting students where they are, connecting them with campus-wide opportunities, and helping them match their academic experience with their career ambitions.”
First envisioned and championed by geography professor and former Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences W. Andrew Marcus, Tykeson Hall is the physical manifestation of what so many have pushed for students to have — a starting point that combines academic and career advising, as well as support in navigating the requirements necessary for degree completion.
“Tykeson Hall will help our students translate their passion for the arts and sciences into academic and professional successes,” said Bruce Blonigen, Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I’m profoundly grateful to our college's alumni and benefactors who made this building possible because it will help all our students reach their dreams.”
More than 150 alumni and friends contributed to the project, including a lead gift from Willie and Don Tykeson ’51, with support from Renee James ’86, ’92, and Stephen Cooney ’85, Shirley Rippey ’53, and Conni and George Slape ’76. Matching bond funding from the state of Oregon contributed to making Tykeson Hall a reality.
More than half of all UO undergraduates will receive advising in the new building, including all College of Arts and Sciences students and all exploring students who have not yet declared a major. At the same time, Tykeson Hall will be a destination for all students and campus community members.
What’s in it for you?
“It’s a great new building with a ton of resources, new classrooms, and great outdoor spaces and areas to study and hang out,” said Michael Teylan, a recent graduate hired as an intake and operations specialist in Tykeson Hall. “You really can’t go wrong with that.”
Tykeson College and Career Advising Director Gene Sandan calls the work of the building’s advisors “meaning making.” The advisors gain an understanding of a student’s knowledge, experiences and interests to learn what makes them tick and help them develop academic and career goals, as well as a plan to reach those goals.
“Tykeson Hall is a safe place for students to feel comfortable with the unknown that is ahead of them after they graduate,” Sandan said. “Students can come here to ask questions, setting aside the family or cultural pressures they might feel when considering majors, and receive advice from culturally-aware, well-trained, diverse advising professionals.”
As a recent graduate and former peer advisor, Teylan understands the support students need as they try to pick a major and imagine life after college.
“From my experience, students often worry about what’s going to happen after graduation,” he said. “Tykeson will offer students the opportunity for structured exploring of areas of study and interest. I wonder if maybe I would have chosen a different emphasis area myself if given the opportunity to explore like this when I entered the university.”
Bryson Tyler Ricamona, a current peer advisor and senior majoring in biology, said he sees Tykeson Hall being most beneficial for first- and second-year students as they try to “find a direction when they may not know where to go.”
Ricamona said having more advisors trained as specialists in certain interest areas will help students explore, with advisors having in-depth expertise on the courses that tend to align with an interest area.
Floor-by-Floor in Tykeson Hall
- 23 new advisors hired to work in Tykeson Hall
- 6 new flight paths for you to choose from for career and interest exploration
- 6 career readiness coaches to prepare you for your for life after college
- University Career Center
- Classroom 32
- Academic and Career Advising
- Industry, Entrepreneurship and Innovation flight path
- Public Policy, Society and Identity flight path
- Media, Arts and Expression flight path
- Amy’s Corner Cafe
- James Commons
- Classroom 140
- Academic and Career Advising
- Global Connections flight path
- Healthy Communities flight path
- Scientific Discovery and Sustainability flight path
- Classrooms 204, 233, 240 and 260
- Faculty Offices
- Mathematics Tutoring Area
- Writing Tutoring Area
- Slape Terrace
- Classrooms 333, 340 and 360
- College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office
- Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Interests take off through flight paths
Students will be able to explore interests intentionally through flight paths. Each flight path includes clusters of majors organized into interest areas that help propel students toward academic courses and careers aligned with their curiosities and passions. Each of the six interest areas will allow students to explore their interests in classes that fulfill general education requirements, while also helping them delve into potential career options.
About 70% of students graduate from the UO with a major different from what they declared upon entering the university. By encouraging exploration and providing consistent advising, flight paths will help reduce that percentage, leading students to majors that can get them to the careers they want in the future, rather than those they thought they wanted. This will also hasten a student’s time to graduation, saving them frustration, time, and money.
“It was really important to develop a new model for the UO, to diminish the angst that comes from major selection and reorient students’ perspective to the problems they want to solve, thus providing an anchor as they plan for their future,” Scott said. “A major does not equal a job. There are many paths to a career.”
Career preparation for all students available in Tykeson Hall
Given the wide-ranging student advising and support needs at the UO, it is impractical to house all student success resources in one building. The goal is for Tykeson Hall to serve as a first stop for all students looking for academic or career guidance.
Once a student has settled on a major and future path, advisors will refer students to a school’s or college’s advising resources, or to a specific department or specialized advising resources such as the Accessible Education Center. They will also provide resources for students to gain appropriate hands-on career experience before leaving the university.
The University Career Center, located on Tykeson Hall’s garden level, also added staff—career readiness coaches—who coordinate with academic advisors and specialize in each of the flight paths to provide students with seamless coaching and support as they prepare for their careers.
Career Readiness Coach Colleen McCarthy said the sooner students connect with their center and services, the more job-ready these students can become prior to graduation.
“Students should get involved with us early,” McCarthy said. “Early involvement can help students learn how to prepare application materials, participate in interview skill prep, and learn what networking is and how to network. We want to help students leave with career readiness skills that help them get the jobs they want.”
More than 70% of first-time, full-time University of Oregon students who graduated earned their degree in a major other than the one they declared upon entering the university.
Collaboration and teamwork critical to student success progress
With the addition of advising professionals to the university’s team, other critical players in the student support arena will be able to dedicate more comprehensive and holistic advising services, while also providing campus wide coordination around student success efforts.
Kimberly Johnson, assistant vice provost for advising, said students are able to access ongoing, wraparound advising support in Oregon Hall from:
- Office of Academic Advising
- Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence
- TRIO Student Support Services
Students are able to access these services and receive discipline- or major-specific advice from the various colleges and schools across campus.
“Having more trained advising professionals on campus will allow us to provide extensive wraparound support to students who need advising and can benefit from getting connected to community and campus resources, support with financial, health, or other personal challenges that require more ongoing follow-up,” Johnson said.
“The increase in personnel provides students not only access across campus, but the ease of technology in scheduling appointments using the Navigate app,” Johnson continued. “A student at 2 a.m. can log on to select an appointment time for the following day or week, and feel a sense of relief that there is support when they are facing a lot of responsibilities.”
Tykeson Hall is also the new home of the administrative offices for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Equity and Inclusion. Students will find composition and math course tutoring on the third floor. Designed from top to bottom with students in mind, every corner and floor of Tykeson Hall is built to support UO students on their entire academic journey and beyond into their careers.