The Reading and Study Skills Center, located in Maag Library, and the Center for Student Progress, located in Kilcawley Center, provide students with academic assistance and help them during the shift from a high school to a university setting.
The R&SS Center offers courses that can help freshmen improve their basic college success skills, particularly those skills that are essential to college studying. Placement into these classes is based upon students’ reading placement test scores.
“We probably service 1,500 students just doing that throughout a year,” said Karen Becker, the R&SS Center’s coordinator. “About a third of the freshman class usually tests into one of our classes.”
Workshops, held throughout the year and on a variety of topics, are also available. In addition, informational handouts can be picked up from the R&SS Center, while students seeking additional help can be matched up with trained peer tutors for individual sessions. These peer tutors are often majoring in the subject that the student requests assistance with.
“We’re more interested in getting you to figure out how to study and do well in the class, rather than just going over concepts,” Becker said.
Also available on campus is the Center for Student Progress, which provides individual intervention services, adult learner services, multicultural student services, student tutorial services and disability services, among others.
The center’s first-year student services program, which focuses on university orientation and peer mentoring, can be helpful for freshmen.
Students often meet peer mentors, who also work as orientation leaders, during their SOAR — or Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration — sessions.
“Sometimes there are things that students don’t even know that they need to know to be successful in college, and that’s really the focus of a peer mentor,” said Karen Graves, assistant director of first-year student services. “We want them, first of all, just to know somebody on campus.”
Jonelle Beatrice, CSP director, said peer-to-peer mentoring and sharing is often more effective than professional staff-to-peer mentoring or taking a class. “It’s that one-on-one connection with somebody their own age that really makes a difference,” Beatrice said.