Approaching midterms…

Needing to Improve Your Studying and Learning?

            In case you haven’t been keeping track, midterm is less than three weeks away and only two weeks after you return from Winter Break!  At this point are you feeling like you need to kick your academics into a higher gear?  If so, you’re not alone: the new-semester honeymoon is over, and February’s dreary days can sap whatever motivation you may have had.  We at the Academic Success Center (ASC) recommend two sets of strategies you can pursue: ways to help yourself and ways to get help from others.  Here are a few of the best:

Ways to Help Yourself:

 Use this checklist of “Keys to Academic Success in College” to get more organized.

† Apply these “Nine Tips for Staying Motivated in College” to overcome your doldrums.

† Practice these “Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Note Taker” to engage and learn better.

† Fill out and follow the two “Fillable Schedules” titled “Saturday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.” and “Semester Planning” located here.

Ways to Get Help from Others:

† Attend any department- or ASC-sponsored group helps sessions related to a class.

† Apply for an ASC tutor NOW for a class that isn’t going very well.

† Apply for a peer academic coach to help you simply “do college.”

† Set up a one-on-one ASC appointment to learn how to improve specific study strategies.

            As you know, college semesters fly by.  So don’t put off doing the very do-able things available through the Academic Success Center in VanZoeren 261.  Here’s our website where you can learn about all the various kinds of help we offer to all students, totally free of charge.

Need a tutor?

Come to a required half hour tutoring information session before you apply.
If you attend a session, you can apply on-line, no additional appointment needed!
Applications will not be accepted until
Wednesday January 17.

Information sessions will be held on:
Mon 1/15 4:00pm
Tue 1/16 11:00am
Thur 1/18 5:00pm
Fri 1/19 3:00pm
Tue 1/23 & 1/30 11:00am
Thur 1/25 & 2/1 4:30pm
All sessions are held in VanZoeren 240.

Questions? Email us at asc@hope.edu

Tutoring Information Session Poster

“How To” at the Academic Success Center

All Academic Success Center (ASC) services are free of charge.

Request tutoring in a 100 or 200 level course:

  1. NEW THIS SEMESTER: Come to a required 30 minute information session before applying! After you attend a session, you can apply for a tutor online without an additional appointment. All information sessions will be held in VanZoeren 240:
    • Thursday, January 11 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Friday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.
    • Monday,  January 15 at 4:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 16 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Thursday, January 18 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Friday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 23 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Thursday, January 25 at 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 30 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Thursday, February 2 at 4:30 p.m.
  2. OR, complete an application for tutoring, available on the ASC website or in 261 Van Zoeren, and turn it into the ASC with a printed copy of your schedule. Applications are being accepted starting Wednesday, January 17.
  3. If you did not attend an information session, you will need to meet with an ASC intern for your tutor match. You can schedule this follow-up appointment at least two days after you turn in the completed application.
  4. Contact and meet with your tutor, decide on a schedule for tutoring, and complete the Tutor/Tutee Agreement form, which you will return to the ASC.

 

Request accommodations needed for a disability:

  1. Complete a Request for Accommodations form.
  2. Meet with staff to discuss your accommodation request.
  3. Provide requested documentation that supports your request.

 

Request peer academic coaching:

  1. Complete an application for academic coaching, available on the ASC website or at the ASC, Van Zoeren 261, and turn it in at the ASC with a printed copy of your schedule.
  2. Schedule and attend an appointment with the coordinator for your coaching pair-up.
  3. Contact your coach to get started.

 

Request study-strategies assistance:

  1. Call 616-395-7830 or stop in at the ASC, VanZoeren 261, to make an appointment.
  2. Meet with staff to discuss your needs.

NEW and exciting

We have a new team member working for Disability Services! Megan Herzog stepped into the recently created position of Services Assistant this past November. The majority of Megan’s work is behind the scenes (Literally. Her work station is around the corner from the front desk of the ASC.) and involves lots and lots of sticky notes. She manages all of our exam accommodations and works closely with student proctors. This means she creates our testing schedules, communicates with professors and students, and organizes other aspects of accommodations. On a big exam day, you will find Megan running back and forth from her desk to the printer as she makes hard copies of tests. You might also bump into her around campus as she delivers completed exams.

Megan graduated from Hope College in 2013 and is married to Leo Herzog, the resident Google expert in CIT. She spends most of her free time being as active as possible! Megan enjoys hiking/snowshoeing, ice hockey, and taking her two west highland terriers on walks. If you are ever near the ASC, please stop by and say hi! She would love to meet you.

Student Success Lunch and Learn Series: Students with Disabilities

Jeanne Lindell and Carrie Dattels from Disability Services facilitated a discussion on equal access for students with disabilities for faculty and staff. You can read about the information that was discussed at the HHMI Discussion Group blog.

Student Success Lunch and Learn 3: Equal Access for Students with Disabilities.

Essential components of an academic course

Contributed by Jeanne Lindell, Head of Disability Services:

Identifying the essential components of a course or program plays a critical role in determining whether or not an individual meets all the necessary objectives and whether or not a disability related accommodation fundamentally alters a course or program.

Disability Services (DS) staff have begun talking more to faculty about essential components. So you’re looking for more information about what essential components are or how to determine them, look no further! Well, actually, please do continue reading.

Important questions to ask when assessing a course or program’s essential objectives and components include:

  • What is the purpose of the program or course?
  • What outcome variables are absolutely required of all participants?

 

Specifically for a course:

  • What academic skills must be demonstrated?
  • What percentage of the subject-area knowledge must be mastered?
  • What specific knowledge, principles, or concepts must be mastered?

 

Specifically for a program:

  • What skills or competencies will be needed in the field after                        graduation?
  • What are the requirements for licensing or professional accreditation?
  • What methods of instruction are non-negotiable, and why?
  • What methods of assessing outcome variables are absolutely necessary, and why?
  • What are acceptable levels of performance for these measures?

Essential components must be met with or without reasonable accommodations. Non-essential components are those for which alternate methods or products may be substituted. In discerning appropriate accommodations, DS staff rely on faculty to know their course’s essential components. DS staff may discuss alternate methods or products with faculty that would equally assess students’ mastery of the essential components but will allow them to demonstrate what they know. An example would be allowing an oral instead of written assessment (unless writing is itself an essential component of the course).

____________________________________________________________

This information has been adapted from Brown University’s Accessibility websitehttp://www.brown.edu/campus-life/support/accessibility-services/.

Student employment at the ASC

Contributed by Allison Johnson ’18:

It’s a rare moment when I tell someone that I am a test proctor for the Academic Success Center and they know exactly what I mean.

“So you mean you stand up in front of dozens of test-taking students and sternly peer over your horned-rimmed glasses as you glare and shush them, ensuring that cheating doesn’t occur and sucking all the joy from the room?”

Nope. Here’s the process:

  • Student comes to take exam at ASC. Yay exams!
  • After they put their belongings down in the ASC office, I take them to one of two rooms just down the hall reserved for ASC test takers and remind them that if they have any questions for their professor about the exam to come back to my desk and we can get in touch with the prof.
  • I head back to my desk in the ASC office and file any papers that need to be filed or send any emails that need to be sent.
  • When the student is done with their exam or time is up, they will return it to my desk in the ASC office and head out, relieved to not have to devote mental space to that exam any longer.
  • I stick the exam in an envelope and carry on my merry way to deliver the exam to the professor.

See, no glaring, shushing, or horn-rimmed glasses involved. It’s actually a positive experience! (Well, for me at least. I’m not the one taking the exam.)

One of my favorite parts about going to work are the connections I will likely make that shift. When I start exams, I get to hear a little about life from students of all years, majors, and backgrounds who make up Hope’s student body. Delivering finished exams across campus affords me the opportunity to interact with professors and office managers from every academic department. I feel that I have a better grasp of who the humans are that come together to make Hope College what it is.

The work I have the opportunity to accomplish as a test proctor is beautifully diverse. I am able to satisfy my love of organization by filing papers, sending emails, transferring information to spreadsheets, and keeping track of when to start/end exams. My social side gets engaged as well, whether I am talking with fellow students, ASC staff, or faculty and staff members around campus. Delivering exams means I get paid to take walks and soak in the beauty of campus (or, depending on the season, walk as fast as I can in my puffy parka to avoid hypothermia, which is an equally lovely experience). I often find myself with time to do homework (though don’t ask me how productively I use that time) and work on my own to-do list.

This is my fourth semester working as a test proctor in the ASC, making it my longest-standing on-campus job. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with an office full of wonderful people whose dedication to students is so tangible.

“How To” at the Academic Success Center (ASC)

All ASC services are free of charge.

Apply for Peer Partnership Learning (PPL) in General Biology and General Chemistry using the following links:

BIOL 105

CHEM 125

Request tutoring in a 100 or 200 level course:

  1. Complete an application for tutoring, available on the ASC website or in 261 Van Zoeren, and turn it into the ASC with a printed copy of your schedule. Applications are being accepted starting Wednesday, September 6 and can be turned in until November 17.
  2. After your application is processed, you will meet with an ASC intern for your tutor match. You can schedule this follow-up appointment at least two days after you turn in the completed application.
  3. Contact and meet with your tutor, decide on a schedule for tutoring, and complete the Tutor/Tutee Agreement form, which you will return to the ASC.

 

Request accommodations needed for a disability:

  1. Complete a Request for Accommodations form.
  2. Meet with staff to discuss your accommodation request.
  3. Provide requested documentation that supports your request.

 

Request peer academic coaching:

  1. Complete an application for academic coaching, available on the ASC website or at the ASC, Van Zoeren 261, and turn it in at the ASC with a printed copy of your schedule.
  2. Schedule and attend an appointment with the coordinator for your coaching pair-up.
  3. Contact your coach to get started.

 

Request study-strategies assistance:

  1. Call 616-395-7830 or stop in at the ASC, VanZoeren 261, to make an appointment.
  2. Meet with staff to discuss your needs.

Americans with Disabilities Act – Fast Facts for Faculty

I have procrastinated writing this post about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , not because the information does not need to be shared, but because there is already great information available. Therefore, I have decided not to duplicate:

  • What is the ADA? The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. You can find general information at the ADA National Network.
  • What does the ADA mean for Hope? Title III of the ADA covers private institutions and ensures equal access to post-secondary education. This includes all aspects of college, including academics, programs, services, housing, and student life.
  • What should we know about the rights, responsibilities, and roles of institutions and students? The ADA Coordinator’s office at Ohio State University has a lot of great information about the ADA and the accommodation process for faculty as well as students. If you click on the link above to browse, also check out the Rights and Responsibilities.
  • You may not already know that faculty have the right to request verification that a student needs an accommodation for a disability. This verification can only be done through the Disability Services office, and students can register by completing a Request for Accommodations form.
  • The American Psychological Association has developed Toolkits of valuable information for both students with disabilities and faculty. While the information is geared toward those in the social sciences, Toolkit II and Toolkit III provide information relevant to all disciplines.