Give Me a Boost! Reach Out for these Support Services On Campus
COLLEGE IS ABOUT A LOT MORE THAN doing your own laundry and learning how the Schrodinger wave equation will ever play out in your life.
Part of your introduction to independence will, ironically, be tied to your ability to seek out help when you need it. That may mean asking a professor to explain something for the third time, or addressing your issues of chronic disorganization and time mismanagement.
Here are some of the more common types of educational support that are available at colleges across the country.
Although getting one-on-one help may conjure images of dollar signs, tutors can truly be worth their weight in gold. Sites like www.universitytutor.com can help you track down someone to help with your specific subject needs, but you should check with your school first because many provide some sort of free tutoring. At Purdue University (IN), for example, there are several walk-in help centers offering free tutoring. They are staffed by upperclass and graduate students who specialize in certain subjects. Purdue also offers free one-on-one tutoring for students seeking to enhance their writing, and a tutor-matching service, which offers free and low-cost services.
Professors and teaching assistants have office hours for a reason—to be available to students! For the most part, office hours are posted days and times that you can visit with the professor to ask questions about class, homework, tests and papers. Go prepared with specific questions, relevant materials and a way to take notes.
The beauty of study groups is that you’ve got material, intellectual and theoretical input from several different people taking the same course. By sharing your notes and your “take” on the class lectures and course material with two or three others, everyone can benefit. Beyond rote memorization, study groups that foster discussion can enhance everyone’s knowledge and application of the coursework. It also gives you the opportunity to address discrepancies in your notes and forces you to be accountable to others by contributing and showing up on time.
LEARNING DISABILITIES ASSISTANCE
Learning disabilities can come in a range of forms—from ADHD to low reading comprehension—and are not necessarily linked to IQ. In fact, according to the Hechinger Report, about 2 percent of Princeton University (NJ) students surveyed said they had ADHD or another learning disability.
Some schools, like the University of North Carolina, are trying the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which aims to help learning-disabled students perform better in mainstream college classrooms by using alternative education tools. This might mean that professors use interactive technology to help students with reading struggles or assign specific colors to materials to help students better focus and stay organized.
A few schools offer personal coaching for students who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Often assigned through the college’s disabilities office, these one-on-one sessions can be done by phone, online or in person. The coach can help with things like time management, organization, perseverance in the face of adversity, self-esteem, delaying gratification, refocusing on priorities, and finding a balance between college work and fun.
Whatever help you feel you need, don’t be embarrassed. Many times it’s the students who reach out for clarification, assistance and input who are the most successful!