2B. Learning Assistance

Almost all students at one time or another experience difficulty with coursework, even when they are accurately placed and prepared. By discussing with the student the perceived difficulty of course content, the pace of the course delivery, and the instructor’s teaching style, the academic advisor can help students become aware of potential issues before enrolling in their upcoming semester courses.

Where can students get assistance with coursework?

UAF does not have a centralized learning center, but many departments operate their own tutoring programs. Incoming students receive a printed Academic Success Guide developed by the Academic Advising Center during new student orientation. In addition, the Academic Advising Center compiles information about the university’s learning resources and publishes a flyer for students outlining program contact information and hours of operation each semester.  The Academic Success Guide and Learning Resources Flyer pdfs are in the student learning assistance link within the Academic Advising Center website.

Where do students get help with coursework prior to, or at the start of the semester?

Encourage students to review each course syllabus and visit their instructors during posted office hours.

Some instructors set up study groups for their class, so encourage students to ask their instructors if they have study groups. If not, encourage students to get involved, or talk to other class members to set one up themselves.

Have students review the Academic Success Guide they received during orientation or download the guide from the Academic Advising Center website. Encourage students to fill in the Semester Planning Calendar with their assignment, quiz, and test deadlines. With this calendar, students can have all their semester course deadlines on one sheet of paper. In addition, have students review the Grade Expectations information in the guide so they have a realistic idea of for what work is needed to get those A and B grades.

Students can get live homework help online through the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) program.

The Khan Academy is a free online resource with hundreds of videos or interactive content for math, science, economics, finance, and humanities subjects students can view to get background on the subject prior to the first day of class.

Students with a documented disability may apply for accommodations through Disability Services.  Even if students qualified for disability assistance in high school, it doesn’t mean they will automatically qualify for services at the university-level. Students must contact Disability Services to apply. Their Assistive Technology Lab in 206 Whitaker provides technology aids for students with disabilities.

What are Student Success Workshops?

Each semester, the Academic Advising Center provides free workshops to students on study skills and university skills. Topics include, note-taking skills, reducing math anxiety, successful test-taking skills, keys to being an online student, Degree Works, salary expectations for majors, and more. The workshops are typically held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:10 – 1:50 in 409 Gruening. Taped workshops will be available soon for students to view at the Academic Advising Center website.

What should students do if they find they are getting behind in their coursework after the semester begins?

Encourage students to get to know their instructors and to personally visit them during office hours or chat online with instructors of web-based courses.

Strongly encourage students to use the subject labs, tutors, and resources listed on the semesterly Learning Resources flyer.

Students can use the grade calculators on the Academic Advising Center website to calculate their predicted semester and cumulative GPA and what GPA  and number of credits will be needed for a student to reach their goal GPA. There’s even a course-repeat gpa calculator for students factoring in a repeating course to their gpa.

Students (and academic advisors) can learn how to use software programs more effectively through Lynda.com, sponsored by the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library.

Encourage students to study smarter, not necessarily harder. Some historically difficult lower-division, Core-designated courses include peer-assisted study sessions called Supplemental Instruction (SI).

Students and academic advisors can get help from the Office of Information Technology (OIT) with electronic programs and aids, such as webmail, cloud computing, social media, and Blackboard. Each fall, OIT sponsors TechFest where students, staff, and faculty can learn about electronic resources to enhance student learning and the classroom experience.

 Where can students get help if non-academic issues are affecting their academic progress?

Students experiencing financial difficulties can speak to a financial aid advisor about grants, loans, and scholarship opportunities. Each semester, Financial $ense workshops presented by the Financial Aid Office, provide valuable information about credit, budgeting, and other fiscal concerns of students. A free online life skills financial literacy program is also available to UAF students.

The Veterans Resource Center supports veteran and military students  and their spouses and dependents with academic, financial, transitioning, and deployment issues.

Students searching for on-campus employment can access student jobs through UAKJobs. Career Services hosts several employer career fairs and links to College Central Network Services for students exploring career possibilities and preparing to enter the job market.

Students living in the residence halls can speak to their resident advisors about issues concerning roommates, living and learning on campus, security, and being part of the on-campus community. Freshman students are part of the first year experience Education, Development, Growth, Experience (EDGE) program with enhanced programming, mentoring, and tutoring opportunities.

Students requiring medical assistance or who want to speak to a mental health counselor go to Student Health & Counseling for everything from prescription refills, immunizations and flu shots to acute illness and injury, substance abuse counseling, suicide prevention, and stress. Every academic advisor should have the pamphlet, Helping Students in Distress: Tips for Faculty at their disposal.

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