ASC fosters student success through peer-to-peer tutoring

If you’ve visited University Hall in the last couple of months, you’ve probably noticed a few changes. One of these, and one which promises to have a profound impact on Augusta University’s freshman and sophomore populations, is the opening of the Academic Success Center (ASC).

Located just across the hall from the Augusta University Cyber Institute, the ASC offers students a chance to meet one-on-one with a peer-tutor in a welcoming, learning-friendly environment.

Paula Owens, Academic Success coordinator, said the space was designed to help underclassmen – specifically freshmen and sophomores – improve upon their core efficiencies before moving on to more major-specific classes.

“Our goal is to give students the opportunity to come in, meet with another student and help improve their own academic futures on their own time,” said Owens, who oversees tutors assisting students with their writing and understanding of social science concepts, among other things.

One of the ways the ASC makes the “on-your-time” improvement approach easier is by allowing students to receive “drop-in” tutoring.

“We encourage students to make an appointment if they feel they need help, but they are also welcome to drop in at any point to get help if there’s a tutor available,” Owens said.

Tutoring is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, Owens said, but each tutor can work with up to a maximum of four students.

Owens said her team currently consists of 16 student tutors, many of whom are either in the Honors Program or junior and seniors. Her fellow Academic Success Coordinator, Amanda Gustafson, who oversees student tutors specializing in core STEM concepts, manages a team of more than thirty.

These “bluecoats,” as Owens lovingly referred to them (so called for the blue lab coats students will wear to distinguish themselves as tutors), will serve as a first point of contact for students seeking help. In the coming weeks, these students will also work toward receiving their international College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) tutor certification

In addition to receiving help from a peer, though, students can also make full use of the ASC’s facilities. This includes multiple study spaces, a reservable private study space, a coffeemaker (with K-cups available for purchase from a nearby vending machine) as well as mobile glassboards and whiteboard markers.

Before sitting down to meet with a tutor, students are encouraged to swipe their JagCards at the ASC’s front desk.

Owens said she’s excited for the center’s pilot semester.

“My hope is that students will recognize this as the place to go if they’re looking for help with their core classes,” she said. “We’re also hoping faculty will encourage students to look here for support should they need it.”

For more information about the Academic Success Center or to schedule an appointment, contact the ASC at 706-667-4777 or asc@augusta.edu.

Click here for the current tutoring schedule.

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Nick Garrett
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Nick Garrett

Nick Garrett is a communications coordinator in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him at 706-446-4802 or ngarret1@augusta.edu.

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Nick Garrett Written by Nick Garrett

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