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What is an Academic Success Center?

Last updated January 25, 2024

Colleges are typically packed full of resources for students, like the academic success center! Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging, especially when it comes to keeping up with college-level classwork, but the campus academic learning center is an amazing, free resource available to all students. This office may go by a different name depending on your college, such as the “learning center,” “tutoring office,” or “writing center.” No matter what it's called at your college, it exists to help students stay on top of studying, maintain their GPA, and understand difficult class concepts. Here's what you should know about using your college's academic success center!

Note: While different colleges may offer different types of support through their academic success centers, we’ve listed the most commonly available ones below. Stop by your school’s academic success center to learn more.

Tutoring

Need some extra support with your homework or to prepare for an upcoming exam? Tutors can help! Tutoring sessions are usually offered:

  • In groups. You can study alongside other students in a particular class, led by someone in the learning center.
  • Individually (in-person). To ensure you receive the help you need, making an appointment for an individual tutoring session is key. Be sure to show up to your appointment on time and prepared to study. 
  • Individually (remote). Some colleges are now offering remote tutoring sessions for students who can’t make it to campus. You will likely need to create an appointment for these sessions as well.
  • Drop-in sessions. You do not need to sign up for drop-in tutoring sessions; they usually operate on a first-come, first-served basis. While you should expect for these sessions to be busy, tutors may be able to work with you one-on-one during slow periods.

Essay and writing help

Have a big paper to write? With the help of a writing coach in the academic success center, you can draft, outline, and edit your paper together. Writing coaches can help you identify key concepts and ideas you want to write about, give you tips on making an effective argument, and review different drafts of your paper as you work on it independently!

Learning support and strategies

A big key to success in college is building good habits and strategies over time. These will help you in almost every class you take throughout your time in college, and even in life after school, so it’s important to start working on them ASAP! Here are some of the habits and strategies that the academic success center can help you build through workshops, tutoring, and trainings:

  • Note taking and formatting.
  • Test taking skills, including managing test anxiety.
  • Studying.
  • Reading comprehension.
  • Writing skills like structuring, proofreading, and editing.
  • Time management.

Be sure to note which strategies would be best for you to work on, then try to build them over time!

Two men sit across from each other in an orange booth and look at their computers - What is an Academic Success Center?

Tips for making the most of your time at the academic success center

Attend class

Tutoring is a great way to supplement your learning experience, but it is not a substitute for class. It is vital that you attend class, read the required text, and bring your notes and/or questions to your tutoring session.

Be prepared

Before your tutoring session or other time getting academic support, take the time to review your assignment, upcoming quiz/test, or study guide, identify the areas where you are struggling, and write down any questions you have.

Participate

Tutors are typically fellow students who are successful in their academics and have a wealth of knowledge to share about the courses you are taking. Often, these tutors are also majoring in a similar field they are tutoring. For example, an engineering major may be a math tutor, or an English literature student may be helping in the writing lab. Keep in mind they are not professors, and although they will help you understand problems and concepts, they will not do your work for you.

Plan ahead

Showing up on time and prepared for your tutoring session is important. Tutors are often in high demand, especially during peak times like midterms and finals, so be sure to schedule your appointment ahead of time! Another way to plan ahead of your tutoring session is to make sure you show up early and prepared to jump straight into what you need help with.

Have any questions about using your college's academic success center? Text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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