4 Keys to Success from the Academic Support Center

Midterms are behind you. Whew! Regardless of how you did, you can do even better for the rest of the semester. How? OCC's Academic Success Center (ASC) offers services and resources that can help you improve or, if you're doing exceptionally well, can help you help others and enhance your learning along the way!

Here are some proven methods to improve performance:

1. Tutoring: Take advantage of the free tutoring available on every campus. You are eligible for two tutoring appointments per week per class at no charge. Check schedules or, in some cases, drop in for tutoring at whichever campus is most convenient for you. OCC tutors have each invested at least 10 hours in comprehensive training and earned nationally recognized certificates so they are 'ready, willing and able' to help you get more out of your classes. The College's 100 tutors include students, alumni, retirees and field specialists.

2. Supplemental Instruction: "If your course offers the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader program, take advantage of it," said Lisa Nemitz, ASC Faculty, Orchard Ridge Campus. "We have found that this program works best with math, science and gateway courses, providing peer to peer study groups." Research shows that SI-led study groups contribute to significantly higher GPAs for student participants.

3. Student Success Seminars: Sign up for these free seminars offered at each campus during the day and evening hours. Just-in-time topics are designed to provide strategies for learning, studying, communicating, and goal-setting. "The ASCs offer a full complement of success seminars, including customized workshops for math, science, writing and ESL courses, among others," said Rosalind Reaves, ASC Faculty, Royal Oak Campus. "And, as an added bonus, many students earn extra credit from their instructors when they attend a success seminar."

4. Plan with a Professional: Make an appointment with an ASC faculty member for developing student success plans. You'll get 30 minutes of individualized attention and information on available resources that will guide you to further success.

For many students who are working and attending school and balancing multiple priorities, these opportunities can seem to require even more of your time. But remember, the time you put in on any of these options will reward you with increased efficiency and effectiveness. Do you remember being told that for every hour you spend in the classroom, you should plan on spending two hours studying outside? By midterms, this advice becomes clearer. The ASC understands you're very busy and offers these proven resources and facilities to help you add new strategies to your study toolbox so you will spend your time more efficiently.

"Working with someone else is most efficient," Nemitz adds. "Tutoring is for ALL students. Studies show that the average GPA for students who take advantage of tutoring and study groups is 3.0." The College just completed a five-year study that shows that your GPA and retention rates are higher if you participate in a SI Leader group and/or tutoring.

So what do these resources mean to those of you who are acing your courses? You can give back to fellow students, keep your skills sharp, build your resume and earn some money by becoming a SI leader or tutor. If you're interested, talk to your instructor or contact your campus ASC faculty to learn more.

Learning to learn improves your ability to master your course content. Get the most out of your college experience by partnering with the ASC.