Archive for October 4th, 2017

Support Services that Every College Student Should Use

October 4th, 2017

BY LAN NGO

College campuses offer a range of student support services, but they are often under-utilized. Every student could use a bit of support, including academic tutoring and professional counseling.  Generally, students are already paying for these services as part of the cost of attending college, so there’s no reason to not use these resources!

Here, I provide an overview of the four main types of student support services that most colleges offer.

Learning Resources

At the learning resources center, you can get help with how to be a successful student.  You’ll learn concrete strategies for managing your time, prioritizing your assignments, and more.  When you don’t know who to talk to about an academic issue, the learning resources center is a great place to start.

Some students would benefit greatly from having weekly appointments with the same learning resources staff person.  This arrangement allows for continuity: the staff person gets to know you well and develops an understanding of the particular support you need in any given week.

Depending on the campus, the office that serves students with disabilities may be housed under the learning resources center.  Students with special needs should make use of this resource to discuss testing accommodations, getting a note-taker when they’re not able to write due to an injury, and other services.

Counseling and Behavioral Health

Everyone can benefit from getting help with adjusting to new changes or managing personal and situational challenges.  College comes with many such challenges at a life stage where many are still figuring out who they are and who they want to become.  You are not alone in having these questions.

College campuses offer confidential counseling to students.  This resource can be used even when you just want to talk with someone.  There’s no need to wait until the situation gets worse to talk with a counseling professional.  Other typical services include helping students to develop coping strategies and to grow personally and professionally.

Tutoring

Campuses offer tutoring so that you can get help in almost any academic subject.  You’re not the only one that may think that college isn’t easy; that’s why tutoring services exist.

Different campuses offer tutoring in varying forms.

On some campuses, the tutoring center offers services at a central location and also conveniently at satellite locations, including dorms.  Depending on the campus, the tutoring center may also be the same place that provides academic support for student athletes.  These support staff members understand the demanding schedules of student athletes and can cater to their time constraints.

Writing Help

Students often find academics at the collegiate level to be challenging, especially when complex readings need to be done alongside academic writing.  As the former director of the writing center at a major university, I can confidently say that the writing center is a great resource for any student.

The tutors or writing specialists are the core of the writing center.  At some writing centers, tutors are hired externally, while at others, the tutors are undergraduates, graduate students, and/or faculty members.  Writing tutors are trained or have particular expertise in helping students become confident, skillful writers.

Writing center tutors and specialists help students with course assignments as well as fellowship applications and other writing pieces that aren’t for classes.  You’ll be able to get help on just about any type of writing at the writing center.

Final Thoughts

Take advantage of these student support services, no matter how you think you’re doing academically or personally.  If you’re an A student, why not up your game and get feedback on your coursework from a tutor?  If you’re not doing as well as you think you should, act sooner rather than later to get some help.  It is well worth your time.

 

Lan Ngo, PhD is a Project Delivery Manager in the Learning Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also an Education Lecturer.  Lan is the co-founder of https://yourcollegeadvisors.com/