Tutoring and Mentoring Center

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides free and holistic tutorial support services. Tutors are trained in the Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) model and offer tutorial services in Mathematics, English, Reading, and basic Microsoft Office. Located in room C2118, the Academic Success Center provides an open study area, face-to-face tutorial, Internet access, and various tutorial computer software. During the Covid-19 pandemic, all tutoring is conducted via Upswing. Students will find links to Upswing in their Blackboard courses.

Making Appointments

Students can schedule appointments online or by calling or visiting the campus they wish to receive services.

You may schedule two appointments (30 minutes) per subject each week.
After two scheduled appointments, students must be a walk in the remainder of the week.
Be mindful that a tutor may not be available during a walk in, but we almost always have peer mentors on hand who can help you with something!
Students are required to cancel if they cannot make a scheduled appointment.
Appointments may be canceled online up to 3 hours prior to the scheduled time and up to 5 minutes prior to scheduled time by directly calling the location where you are scheduled to received service.
Failure to cancel appointments will result in being denied scheduled appointments for the rest of the semester.

Making Appointments

Note Taking 101

1 Key Principle

Less is more. Faithfully recording every word spoken by your instructor will not help you very much. Note taking is about figuring out what is most important so that your study time will be focused and productive.

2 Helpful Tricks

  • Come up with a shorthand. Learn how to consistently abbreviate certain words that you use often, leave out words that aren't necessary for understanding meaning, and using symbols whenever possible.
  • Underline or highlight key points. This can be done as you write notes or as you are reviewing them later. This should especially be done when notes are provided to you by the teacher and you did not have to write them in the first place.

3 Strategic Methods

Cornell Method: Divide the page into three sections. During class, take notes on the right and identify corresponding main ideas out to the left. Later, review those notes and write a short summary of the key points for greater reflection and retention.

Bonus Tip: You can fold your paper to hide either the key terms column or the supporting details/ examples column from view in order to quiz yourself as you study.

Outlining Method: Start at the left margin writing down main ideas. Supporting info and details that relate to each main idea should be indented underneath. Each new level should indent further and use a different letter or symbol. Anytime a new main idea is introduced, return to the left margin.

Bonus Tip: You can combine this method with the Cornell method. Also, practicing note taking this way can help you practice organizing your thoughts for written assignments.

Visual Aid Method: Use pictures, graphs, charts, diagrams, flowcharts, etc., to organize your information as you write it. This works especially well for info that is sequential, categorized, or conceptually related in a certain way.

Bonus Tip: Repackaging in a visual format notes you have already taken in another format or notes provided to you can help you learn and recall it better. Use colors meaningfully to add another layer of effectiveness to this method.

Ten Quick Study Tips

Manage your time.

You have a class schedule, a work schedule, maybe even a sleep schedule, so make yourself a study schedule and stick to it! Write study time on your calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Check your syllabus and Blackboard every day to make sure you're ahead of the game.

Take notes.

Don't just passively listen as your instructor lectures or read the textbook without a pen close by; write notes as you encounter the information so you have something to study later. Both the act of writing and re-reading what you wrote help information solidify in your brain.

Repetition is key.

Moving information from short-term to long-term memory requires you to work with it over and over. You don't want to study the same way all the time, but returning to the same information again and again will improve your ability to recall information long term.

Switch it up.

Combat the boredom that can come from repeated studying by studying it in different ways. Use flashcards, try different mnemonic devices, talk out loud to yourself, create a review game, write the material several times, etc. Your brain will retain more because you will be engaging different parts of it instead of the same part time after time.

Get enough sleep.

When you sleep, your brain rests and processes the information you learned throughout the day. Forgoing sleep works against your brain's natural process of solidifying memory. Being tired also makes recall more difficult.

Don't cram.

While cramming might help you for a short quiz, that information will not stick long term. You will likely need that info again for a project, paper, and/or the final exam--not to mention somewhere down the line in your career and/or personal life. Studying over an extended period is the only way to remember information for the long term.

Get rid of distractions.

TV, phone, gaming console, kids, dirty kitchen, whatever is getting in the way of your concentrating, put it away or move away from it for an hour. Consider going to a coffee shop, local library, or even under a tree at the local park. Focused studying is productive studying.

Take frequent short breaks.

During long study sessions, people tend to remember the first and last things they covered. Taking breaks creates more firsts and lasts, tricking your brain into remembering more. Try studying for 20-30 minutes, then take a 5-minute break where you completely disengage your brain before you return to studying.

Make a study group.

Don't wait to be asked to join a study group; ask some people after the first class or two to make one. Meet regularly, whether there is a test coming up or not. Quiz each other, share notes, and take turns teaching the material. If you can explain it to someone else, you probably know it well enough to perform well on any type of test.

Reward yourself.

After completing something like a chapter or homework assignment, reward yourself with a few minutes playing your favorite game or watching a show you like. After finishing major projects and exams or passing difficult courses, give yourself a night out or plan a fun trip with a loved one.