Are you taking advantage of the college’s academic support services?

Grace Harrison, Staff Writer

Approximately 75 percent of students who were randomly selected for a campus survey have never attended a workshop at the Center for Academic Engagement. They have also never asked for writing assistance in the library, visited the LAC for math assistance, took advantage of available computer services or visited the science study center for help.

Are you juggling work, school and a family?

The Center for Academic Engagement (CAE) in the campus center plays a key role in support services.

Mr. Aaron Nooney, CAE advising specialist, explained how the CAE offers assistance from understanding how to read a class syllabus to balancing a job, family and school.

They frequently offer many workshops such as “Engage-n-Go” to help students with time management, note taking, test anxiety and test taking strategies. In addition, the CAE offers assistance with midterm and finals preparation.

Are you struggling with your science course?

Keith Gunner, director of the science study center, said, “We provide tutoring in biology, chemistry, physics, maintain a library and computers. All of these resources are at [students’] fingertips.”

In addition, “You can get a study group together, and utilize our study rooms. Students find the science study center immensely useful,” said Gunner.

Students using the study center claim that the environment is ideal for focusing on their studies and that the peer tutors are very helpful. Some will spend several hours here each day and some feel that they would be failing their science courses if it were not for this center.

Are you having computer difficulties?

On the lower level of the library, free computer assistance is provided.

Michael O’ Connell, computer education specialist, has been working at Hudson Valley for eight years.

“[The most challenging aspect of my job is] the fact that more students are not coming to ask for help. Getting the students to come in and use these services is the most frustrating,” said O’Connell.

Do you need help with math?

The Learning Academic Center (LAC), in the library, provides free support in math. Students receive help from peer tutors and faculty in basic algebra through calculus.

Student Wendy Dunworth explained how she uses both the math study center as well as the computer assistance daily.

“They have helped me so much, explained how to do everything and helped me overcome test anxiety. I wouldn’t have the grades that I have now if it weren’t for both [the above services],” said Dunworth.

Stressing about an upcoming writing assignment?

Jim LaBate, a writing specialist, helps students at the Writing and Research Center in the upper level of the library.

“I help students with any writing related tasks, from the very beginning (brainstorming and research) to the final draft,” said LaBate.

LaBate explained that once students receive assistance, “Students are very appreciative and satisfied. Some students will actually come back and tell us, ‘I got a B or an A!’”

Gereltsetseg Batsaikhan, a student whose second language is English, goes to the Writing Center six times a week for assistance.

Batsaikhan said, “They help me organize my ideas when I sit down and talk with them. It helps me a lot.”

A concern which faculty, specialists and some students’ is that few students are taking advantage of these opportunities the college provides.

“Some people tell me they are afraid or embarrassed to come and ask for help,” said Dunworth.

Other students were not aware that the extra support is offered.

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