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Center for Student Academic Success

The mission of the Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS) is: Empowering students to be active and independent learners in pursuit of their academic success. Through this mission, we strive to help build men and women who view self-advocacy and appreciation of the learning process as pillars of success. As we work to empower students, we hope parents and families will support us in this pursuit through mirroring the investigative work we do to uncover, identify, and respond to academic difficulties. Parents and families can partner with the Center for Student Academic Success via engaging students in open-ended questions that support a growth mindset and motivation.

When we talk about an appreciation of the learning process and conversations that support a growth mindset, we are specifically targeting past conversations and situations that have focused solely on a student’s academic praise; how intelligent, how bright, how special they are. In isolating these aspects of the student, the student has come to learn that this is who he or she is: the intelligent one, the bright one, the special one. When academic difficulties arise, many students who have lived with this one dimensional view of themselves struggle to find the proper resources and path to academic recovery out of a sense of embarrassment and confusion as to how they fell from the top. One example the staff in the Learning Strategies Office of CSAS often uses with students is the “big fish in the little pond” being relocated to be “one of many big fish in a big pond.” While there is more competition, and potentially more people who are achieving higher grades, there is also more room for those struggling to grow to find the resources to thrive.

So, how can parents and families help? Praise the process. Acknowledge when your student is working hard and up against a level of academia they have not experienced before. Many students roll into university life unprepared for the expectations that most course work will be student-driven and not faculty-driven. The average high school experience allows students to complete 80% of coursework in the classroom and only 20% out of class. The average college experience is flipped; students are expected to complete around 80% of work outside of the classroom. Engage your students in open-ended questions to discover the difficulty they are struggling with: find out what is actually happening.

  • Is the student going to class?
  • Is the student regularly utilizing office hours? Many students do not understand how critical this part of university life is. If intimidated by a professor, suggest the student send the professor an email before office hours with questions he/she would like to discuss before arriving.   Most professors are disappointed when office hours aren’t used by students regularly.
  • Is the student aware of all of the academic support services on campus?
  • Has the student accessed any of the resources – departmental group tutoring? one-on-one tutoring through the Learning Studio? Writing Center? Language Lab?
  • Are there any barriers to the student accessing or utilizing resources? If so, has the student spoken to the program managers to help break down the barriers?
  • Is the student aware that the academic resources are for ALL students?

In Learning Strategies Management, we offer a whole complement of programming that can help all students as they strive for their goals.  From helping that B+ student learn new study strategies so they can finally achieve that A-level of comprehension, to the student who is significantly struggling just to pass a course, our adaptive services can help all students, until they are able to really do it on their own.

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