15 Academic Support Services

“Two brains are better than one. . . [c]ollaboration allows us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves. It empower us to think differently, access information we wouldn’t have otherwise, and combine ideas as we work together towards a shared goal.”
Paul Solarz

Learning is a process of sharing ideas back and forth, clarifying questions we may have, and solidifying the information we receive. One of the best ways to ensure learning in college is by visiting the study skills and tutoring services at the college or university of your attendance. As you may soon discover, college is quite different from high school in which students are expected to do more studying and learning on their own. While high school teachers may walk you through the lesson, not every college instructor may go into detail of everything you may learn. For example, your math teacher may have walked you through solving your homework equations step by step, but your college math instructor has more material to cover in a shorter amount of time, so you may not get direct homework support unless you raise your hand in class or visit their office hours. Additionally, college brings increased expectations that you to learn, read, and critically analyze your ideas on your own. To navigate these new expectations, you need to develop study skill habits that may differ from high school.

The good news is that most colleges and universities have places where there is train staff and student tutors that can help you academically succeed in college. Here at Chemeketa, you can visit the Tutoring & Study Skills Center, as well as the Math Hub and the Writing Center. Some of the benefits of visiting these centers and receiving academic assistance include:

  • Working one-on-one with trained staff or peer tutors who have taken the classes you are taking.
  • An ability to ask questions that did not come up while in the classroom.
  • Learning how to study in college, self-pace study, and manage time.
  • Ability to learn a subject in a different way, having somebody re-phrase a concept may help understand a subject better.

Even if you feel like you do not need a tutor, one of the best ways to be succeed in college is by routinely visiting these centers. Many students who are academically successful plan to visit these centers on a weekly basis even when it means doing homework at these centers. For example, if you are taking a math class, you can sit at the Tutoring & Study Skills Center to complete your homework or visit the Math Hub. When you get stuck on a math problem, tutors and staff are ready to assist. It’s very convenient to do your homework at the different centers, knowing you have the option of support when you need it. At Chemeketa, for example the majority of tutors are peer tutors. That means that your tutor will be a student who has successfully passed the classes on the subject that they are tutoring. Tutors can provide a different perspective on course topics, reinforcing what you’re learning in class and helping you discover new ideas, questions, and insights as you study. Also, collaboration is often needed for active learning. At these centers you may encounter peers who are taking the same class, and you can learn from each other in a study group.

An inside tip: peer tutors who work at tutoring centers, often used the tutoring center themselves. As Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Overflow said once “[t]eaching peers is one of the best ways to develop mastery”.

Tutoring and Study Skills Center

At Chemeketa, you can use the Tutoring & Study Skills Center for free. They tutor face-to-face in the center, or if they also offer online tutoring seven days a week. Some of the subjects they tutor at include: chemistry, math, reading, writing, languages, and many others.

They have centers in Salem, Yamhill, Polk, and Woodburn. The Salem campus has evening and weekends hours so you can visit even if you work during the day or have family obligations. The Salem campus offers drop in tutoring in chemistry, math, reading and writing. They have language based tutoring as well by appointment. They have online tutoring in a big array of subjects such as accounting, ASL, economics, math, psychology, sciences, writing, between others. To receive online tutoring students have to register every term. You can visit the online website to get more information about online tutoring.

Lastly but not the least, they offer every term appointments to meet with a Study Skills Consultant, a consultant can help you strengthen your skills to be successful in college, for example many students struggle at the beginning of college with time-management. A Study Skill Consultant can help you find ways to fit your academic life, work life and other commitments in a calendar, as well as find behaviors to keep you focused on your classes. Study Skill Consultants also offer an array of workshops that you can attend for free to be successful in college. More information can be found on the website.

Math Hub

The Math Hub also provides help with Math homework with an instructor. When you walk into the Math Hub, you just have to look for the sign that says “professor is in” which will indicate which professor is available for consultation. As a tip, utilizing your instructor’s office hours for any subject is always a good resource. Sadly not a lot of students utilize their instructor’s office hours, so if you find that you would like a more one-on-one help with your instructor this is the best way to go about it.

The Math Learning Center is located in building 3, Room 277 in the Salem Campus. Some of the benefits they offer are:

  • Study lounge, how about having a place to study, or use the writing boards to solve a problem with your peers?
  • Individualized study classes.
  • Testing, if you missed your math test you can re-take the test if your instructor offers the option at the center.
  • Borrow books, use the computers, or rent a calculator for a small fee.

Writing Center

Located in the Salem campus in building 9 inside the library, the Writing Center provides one-on-one support in person and online to be successful in your writing classes as well as your others classes in which you turn in writing assignments. While the Writing Center will not fix your paper per say, they will teach you some writing strategies and skills that you can use to improve your writing assignments. The Writing Center can help you draft, edit, develop ideas and format your paper. The center work with you on a 30-minute appointment in person or can also help online (up to two assignments per week).

To use the services, they ask that you go online to my.chemeketa or that you call their phone number. For more detailed instructions, visit their website.

As with any service, they ask you to bring a copy of your assignment and a goal that you are trying to achieve. Also, if you bring a draft with your instructor’s notes or comments that is also helpful.

Licenses and Attributions

Original chapter work is attributed to Grecia Garcia and edited by Ashley Dern and James R. Gapinski.


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A Different Road To College: A Guide For Transitioning To College For Non-traditional Students by Alise Lamoreaux, Grecia Garcia and Ashley Duran is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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