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Get to Know the Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center has been standing by during finals week to help students through academic peer mentoring, drop-in tutoring, writing consultations, Supplemental Instruction, and one-on-one and group tutoring appointments.

The main desk of the Academic Success Center

By Caleb White, DASA marketing intern

The Academic Success Center (ASC), formerly known as the University Tutorial Center, moved its offices from Park Shops into a brand new space in Hill Library last year.

The ASC didn’t quite get the grand opening it deserved; however, it offers plenty of services students should be excited about — especially during finals week:

  • Writing services for graduate and undergraduate students
  • Appointments and drop-in hours for select courses including chemistry, math, physics (100 and 200-level)
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) for select large lecture classes
  • Academic peer mentoring for developing academic success skills

Recently, we spoke with SI Coordinator Sarah Stokely, who gave some more background about the ASC and what students can do there:

Tell us about the Academic Success Center and its role at NC State.

The Academic Success Center opened in fall 2020 on the second floor of the renovated D.H. Hill Jr. Library on Main Campus. The ASC’s mission is to facilitate degree completion by providing a comprehensive variety of free programs and resources that promote academic skill development and independent learning within the university environment.

The ASC offers expanded services previously supported by the University Tutorial Center. We also plan to offer drop-in academic advising, wellness coaching and career counseling in the ASC space when we are able to return to face-to-face services.  

How does the Academic Success Center help students reach their goals? During finals week, how can the ASC help students study and prepare?

The ASC offers a variety of programs for NC State students including academic peer mentoring, drop-in tutoring, writing consultations, Supplemental Instruction (SI), and one-on-one and group tutoring appointments.  We also offer many study skills resources on our website.

Students have a lot of flexibility in choosing one or multiple programs to set themselves up for academic success. For example, students enrolled in CH 221 can take advantage of attending SI sessions to review, discuss and practice material they are learning in lecture and also schedule 1:1 tutoring appointments or stop by drop-in tutoring to address their specific questions.

How have operations and tutoring sessions changed at the ASC since the COVID-19 pandemic began?

All ASC programs have been offered virtually during the pandemic. This was a challenging shift at first, since the switch had to be made quickly in the middle of the spring 2020 semester. Our SI leaders took the lead in learning how to use Zoom to facilitate SI sessions! All our student employees and professional staff have done a great job learning new delivery methods and online tutoring strategies. We have been very fortunate to be able to offer all of our programs in an online environment without sacrificing the integrity and quality of our peer tutoring model.

Tell us about the roles of peer mentors and tutors. How does a student become a peer mentor or tutor, and what are some of the perks for students who work in these roles? What are some of the advantages of this model of peer tutoring?  

The ASC hires undergraduate peer tutors and mentors every semester. We also hire peer graduate students to work as graduate writing consultants. Our employees are successful students who have earned at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA and who have recently done very well in the courses they are supporting. The positions are paid opportunities for students who enjoy helping their peers. The first step in the hire process is to attend an information session or review our online video regarding employment opportunities. 

All undergraduate employees complete a training course during their first semester of employment. Peer tutors and mentors are trained to be guides in how to work with different types of learners. They facilitate active learning by asking questions to help students make connections between their resources and the problems they are trying to solve.

Our employees gain valuable experience working with students by developing their communication and leadership skills. They are also able to strengthen their own knowledge of course material which can be very beneficial for students who are preparing for graduate entrance exams. Students who work as group tutors or SI leaders also gain valuable group facilitation skills. Peer supervisors gain additional skills in providing constructive feedback to their peers.

Q: What is something that students might not know or realize about the Academic Success Center and the services it offers at NC State? 

Students can schedule and manage their own appointments online for the 1:1 appointment tutoring using the GPS platform. They can also manage their own writing appointments online.

The ASC’s Hill Library location is currently open for general study space while we are serving students online. It will continue to be available in this way after hours when we return to serving students face-to-face. Many students are already taking advantage of the open area with large whiteboards!