The Academic Support Center (ASC) is an asset to most universities, giving students a one on one opportunity to improve and maintain their academic success. Students who take advantage of this service not only achieve better grades, but are more likely to have a higher GPA and higher set of study skills. The ACS provides all undergraduate students the chance to work with a tutor and improve their coursework, free of charge. While there are students who are advised to seek academic tutoring through the ASC, there are many that come willingly.
“Our center is most recognized for our peer tutoring services. This is a free service for all undergraduate students. We focus on hiring tutors primarily to assist with core curriculum courses; the most popular subjects for tutoring are mathematics and writing” said Emily Gross, director of the ASC.
Another service often utilized at the ASC is the stretch course. These courses are designed to help students who are struggling, particularly in English or math.
“Essentially, these courses “stretch” the English or math 101 material over two semesters, giving students more time to digest the material,” said Gross.
Students who participate in these courses have the same textbooks as those in standard English 101 or math 101 courses; however, the atmosphere is slightly different than the average classroom setting. Not only are the classes smaller, which allow for more one on one time, but each stretch section contains a peer tutor. On a weekly basis, students are required to participate in a lab where they have the opportunity to work with the tutor on an individual level.
“This is a great way for students to start working with a tutor from our center,” said Gross.
“We also offer academic counseling and coaching on such skills as time management, study and test-taking strategies, organization or self-motivation,” said Gross.
Students who meet with a tutor often return to the ASC to keep up with their acquired skills. In addition to helping the students on campus, the tutors have personally benefited from working with the undergraduates.
Gross shared a favorite success story, regarding one of the ASC staff members:
“This staff member was on track for a medical career having already taken the MCAT and interviewed with medical schools. In her senior year, she decided to change her career path. Because of the experience she had tutoring her peers, she decided that teaching students in science courses was her new passion. She is now enrolled in her second year with Shepherd’s Masters of Arts in Teaching program!” said Gross.
Although many students come to the ASC seeking guidance in a particular field of study, there are a variety of different services that are beneficial for a student who may not be struggling academically.