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Taking Control of Learning:

Academic Resources and You

TU Summer Online Preparatory Program

In this module
Step 1: Cultural Considerations
Step 2: Academic Support Services
Step 3: Using Academic Supports
Step 4: Contacts and More

Pre-Reading Questions

Step 1: Cultural Considerations

Tutoring is one specifically crucial part of academic success for many students at United States
academic institutions; in fact, the average grade point average (GPA) of many students who use
tutoring services consistently and regularly as part of the plans for academic success tends to be
quite high.
University peer tutors do not teach anything; instead, they are undergraduate students who work
with other undergraduate students as collaborators to clarify texts (e.g. written, visual, digital texts),
practice learning strategies, and find/explore content related to specific academic subject areas.
Do not expect peer tutors to complete your homework for you, speak on your behalf to professors,
re-teach to you what the professor has already taught, or accept gifts of any kind.
Expect peer tutors to work with you to develop strategies for completing college-level reading assignments; comprehending subject area content and concepts; studying for quizzes and exams;
understanding lectures and class discussions; preparing for class discussions; and finding other
academic resources online and on campus that might help you succeed as a student.
Tutoring occurs in special locations and for certain limited hours on campus: writing tutoring occurs
in the Writing Center located in the Haupt Humanities Building, and subject tutoring occurs in the
Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) located on the lower level of the library (see maps posted
for you under the Module #3 tab on the program blog). Note: Some Writing Center tutoring occurs
in the ACE. See the schedule for details.
Tutoring does not occur in unofficial locations on campus, such as dormitory rooms, residence hall
social spaces, or Jazzmans, the coffee shopand never occurs during hours beyond the tutoring

What kinds of academic services

supports like tutoring, etc.are
common in your home country?

What are your experiences with

tutors and tutoring in your home

What kinds of academic support

would you like to have as you study
in the United States?

Do You Know?
Academic support services are
essential parts of learning on United
States university campuses, and they
work best if you decide how each of
them fits into your academic success
plan as soon as you arrive.
You pay for these services through
your fees/tuition, so take advantage
of them, and keep in mind that they
work best when you use them
strategically and consistently
throughout your time as a student.

Step 2: Academic Support Services

What academic support services are available to you at Transylvania?
Transylvania University Writing Center and
Writing Center Consultants
Located in the Haupt Humanities Building,
rooms 12 and 15, the Writing Center is your
place for help with critical reading assignments,
writing assignments, and presentation
assignments. Consultants are trained writing
specialists and are familiar with the specific
concerns of multilingual writers. In fact, many
of them are multilingual writers themselves!
Visit Becky Mills at the Center or email her at to sign up for an
appointment with a consultant. Or you may
schedule an appointment online.
Note: The Writing Center service works best
when you begin in the early stages of a project
and continue to visit throughout the writing
process. Don't forget that you can also meet
with consultants in the librarys Academic
Center for Excellence (ACE). See the ACE
information below for more details.

Library Tutoring Services

Dugi Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)
academic subject tutoring is located on the
lower level of the library and is your place for
tutoring help in many academic subjects.
Contact the library at or
Charlotte Taraba (for math and sciences
tutoring) at with any

Gay, Jr./Thomas Library Transylvania

University Library
The library is the scholarly heart of
Transylvanias campus, housing books,
periodicals, audio-visuals, and online
resources that support Transylvanias mission
of providing a quality liberal arts education. In
the library you will find these people, places,
and services:

Reference librarians who help answer

research questions and give guidance on
scholarly resources.
Special collections, including the Farris
Rare Book Room, an extensive collection
of nineteenth-century medical texts, and
the Transylvania University archives.

Greg Strouse will work with you as a student in

one of the Master Student classes or one-onone in individual coaching sessions. Get
started by contacting him at

English Language Learning Support

James Wright, English as a Second Language
(ESL) Instructor and Consultant is here to work
with you on any of your assignments, including
writing, reading, and speaking assignments. In
the August, fall, winter, and May terms, I keep
hours just for you every day. Visit me in Old
Morrison 110 or contact me at to set up an appointment.
We will discuss your concerns about
academic work and develop strategies for
improvement. Like the Writing Center service,
your work with me is most effective if you see
me early during a project or as soon as a
concern arises.

Transylvania University Career Development

Begin to think about graduate school and jobs.
When you arrive at Transy, visit the Career
Development Office to work on your resume,
cover letter, internship and graduate school
application materialsand to develop solid
strategies for success with your career plans.
Visit the Office on the lower level of the Mitchell
Fine Arts Building (MFA) or contact the Office
at to set up
an appointment.

Transylvania University Study Abroad Office:

You might enjoy travelling and learning in
cultures outside of the United States. Why not
travel, learn, and get academic credit, too?
Consider contacting the Study Abroad Office
for opportunities to widen further your
intercultural experience. Visit the Office at 421
North Broadway (second floor), or contact
Kathy Simon at for more
information about how to begin making your
travel-learning plans reality!

Vocabulary for Academic

Support Services
Study this vocabulary list. Use the
Oxford Learners Dictionaries to
help you define the terms below:
impact (verb)
enrollment/enroll (noun/verb)
appropriate (adjective)
dynamic (adjective)
subject/discipline (academic)
academic service/services
academic support/supports

Hands-on software training in

the Technology Learning Center

drop-in (adjective)

Group study rooms, multiple computer

labs, and media viewing rooms

facility/facilities (noun)

Transylvania University Learning Skills

Want to learn more effective ways to take
notes, engage in class discussions, or organize
your study time most effectively? The Learning
Skills Program is your opportunity to sharpen
these and many other skills essential to
your academic success at Transy. Professor


schedule (noun and verb)
drop in (verbal phrase)
make the most of (phrase)

Services Tip

Other Faculty and Peer Supports

Professors, instructors, and advisors
Having problems deciding on a major?
Wondering about internships? Wanting to
study abroad or concerned about a specific
class? Just need somebody to talk to about
your academic progress? Want to consider
interdisciplinary studies or having trouble
adjusting to academic expectations/culture
here? Your professors and instructorsand
your advisorare all here to address these
and many other questions with you. Reach out
to them and stay in touch about your concerns
and successes.

reading skills and find ways to address

concerns about writing, studying, and using
academic supports at Transy.

Time and Time Again!

Time, as we know, is an
important concern, especially in
your first year as a student.
Support services help you
organize your time by orienting
your coursework strategically
across the entire academic
semester. Such organization
and planning reduces the stress
that comes with approaching

August Term Scholars

After New International Student Orientation,
you will begin August Term, a three-week
period of study before upper-class students
return to campus. First-year students work
together to sharpen their critical, analytical, and
interpretative skills while making new friends
and discovering new interests. Its the perfect
opportunity to get oriented to college life;
participate in a wide range of social and
intellectual activities; forge a new identity with
classmates; learn about the campus; and
explore the Lexington community.
Your August Term class will include one
August Term Scholar, an upper-class student
selected by faculty to assist in your learning.
You can talk with your Scholar about Transy
academic culture, assignments, and any
concerns as you adjust. Check out the pictures
of the 2015 August Term Scholars here.

Use Writing Center

services, ACE tutoring, and
other services to prepare for
class discussions, assignments,
and exams. Make these
supports part of your habits of
preparing for all of your
classwork. In the process, you
will avoid procrastination,
improve on academic skills, and
give yourself plenty of time to
work through assignments.
without strategic plans for
studying and preparing.

Academic Anxiety?

ACE/FYSE/FYS Academic Peer Mentors

As a student in first-year seminar courses, you
will meet with Peer Mentors (PMs) in the
Academic Center for Excellence to discuss the
cultural contexts of texts/readings and ways to
use the academic supports (e.g. librarians,
faculty, ESL instructor, Writing Center staff,
Learning Skills Program, adviser, etc.) that
help you with your academic progress. The
PMs are here to share their experiences with
you and to help you build strategies for using
all of the academic support services available
to you.
Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)
Reading/Discussion Series (August Term)
During August Term, all new international
students will meet with Mr. Wright (me!) in the
ACE to discuss readings and academic
concerns. We will specifically focus on critical

Learn more about strategies for managing the stress that comes
with long hours of study and academic expectations
Transylvania University Health and Wellness Services
Your first year will be a time of wonder and adjustment to your new academic and
social surroundings. Begin thinking about how you can prevent or reduce stress by
talking to a counselor. Transy counselors are trained to help you develop strategies
to manage stress. Your academic advisors, your ESL Specialist, August term scholars,
counselors, instructors, the writing center staff, and librarians care about your concerns and will gladly help, too. The Transylvania community is thrilled you are here,
and we support you!

Step 3: Using Academic Supports

A Scenario

Imagine that you are a first-year student in an Introduction to Psychology course. Here is what you might
On the Introduction to Psychology course calendar, you notice that an exam is scheduled for three weeks from the first
day of class. You plan to regularly study the lecture notes provided to you by the professor, attend and participate in
class, and read and annotate the textbook. However, you still dont understand some of the terms and the applications
of the theories. What can you do?
Schedule dates and times for ACE subject tutoring
First, on your personal master calendar, write down at least one date a week for the next three weeks during which you
can visit the psychology tutor in the ACE. Check the ACE tutoring website for times the tutor is available and then write
down a time for each date youve chosen. Make sure to attend those sessions as if they are required of you as a student
in the class; hold yourself true to your scheduled dates and times.
Schedule dates and times to visit your professor
After you decide on your tutoring schedule, review the course syllabus for the professors office hours. On your master
calendar, mark at least one date and time for each of the next three weeks during which you can visit your professors
office to ask specific questions about the material you are studying for the exam. Email or talk with the professor face-toface to request a visit on your chosen dates and times. Dont worry if the professor needs to schedule other dates and
times with you; its a natural part of this process. Always, though, remember that when you schedule these office-hour
visits you are expressing your interest in and desire to learn the material. Professors really appreciate such effort and
thoughtfulness! They want to meet with you!
Create a reading and discussion group with your classmates
Consider, too, forming a reading and discussion group with your classmates. Choose two or three (or more!) partners in
the class and schedule times to meet up with them to talk about course lectures and readings in preparation for your
exam. Start this group early; do not wait until the night beforeor even the week beforethe exam date. Instead, begin
as quickly as possible, meet in a relaxing environment that is quiet enough for study, and attend these meetings
regularly. Mark them down in your master calendar.
Talk with your August Term Scholar
Dont forget to contact and meet with your August Term Scholar, your friend and guide through this process. If you have
questions about how to contact or speak to a professor about your concerns, how to use the ACE tutoring service, or
how to form a study group, reach out to your Scholar. He or she will help!
Talk with your ACE/FYSE/FYS Peer Mentors
If you are a student in FYSE, you can discuss with your ACE/FYSE/FYS Academic Peer Mentors how to contact or
speak to a professor about your concerns, how to use the ACE tutoring service, how to understand cultural contexts of
what you are reading in the psychology class, and how to form a study group. As part of the first-year program, you will
have set times during which you will meet with your mentor. You can ask your questions during those meetings and
work out strategies together!
Work with your English Language Specialist
Consider, too, emailing or taking face-to-face with James Wright, English as a Second Language Specialist (me!). I hold
daily office hours every day of the week during the academic year just for you. We can work specifically on strategies for
taking exams in the English-language context. Start working with me early in the semester; do not wait until the night
beforeor even the week beforean exam is scheduled. Instead, lets begin as quickly as possible and meet in a
relaxing environment (my office or elsewhere). Mark our meeting dates and times down in your master calendar.

Post-Reading Questions

Important Online Resources

The World in Words
A podcast produced by Public Radio International that explores languages and cultures

The Learning Network

A network of many internet sites focused on English-language learning and news from the
New York Times

Learning English
News stories from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) designed to help students of the

What academic support services do you plan to use as a

student at Transy?

How do you plan to use these


Who will you ask to be on

your academic success
teamand why?