Getting a leg up

Ferris provides a number of resources to help the aspiring student

The culture shock of a college curriculum can strike like lightning – suddenly you’ve failed two quizzes and a test, with the homework’s equations looming like some cruel, illegible joke.

For those seeking some assistance, whether it be to reach a 2.0 or a 4.0, Ferris offers a few options. Jane Pole, supervisor of the Academic Support Center (ASC), went into detail on how students can get some help – and when they should schedule that help.

“We are really super busy in the fall semester. We have a waiting list usually maybe three to four days out,” Pole said. “You have to be proactive. Typically, you can’t call the day you need help.”

An appointment, which should be made a week ahead of time, nets one hour with a student tutor. Pole and the tutor’s stress that students should come in ready to work, with everything they need help with already picked out and set aside.

The student tutors must meet the grade and screening requirements necessary for the position. This includes minimum course completion requirements, an interview, and staff recommendations – which often carry the most weight.

Chemistry senior David Birdsall, who tutors chemistry, math, physics, and more, has seen the Center’s buisiness firsthand.

“It’s a buzzing atmosphere – everyone’s talking and learning and teaching,” Birdsall said.

He also stressed how seriously the tutors take their job,

“The tutors that we have here, I can vouch for completely,” Birdsall said. “We know our stuff, and if we don’t, we don’t putz around. We ask other people.”

Michelle Dunn, a biology junior in the pre-veterinary track, started working at the Center in the fall of 2012. Dunn echoed Birdsall’s warmth and dedication towards tutoring.

“I love helping people through the classes, especially the chemistry and biology classes. It’s something that I have a passion for and that I understand, so I like being able to help people understand,” Dunn said. “It’s really nice seeing a student you’ve been tutoring come back ‘I did well on the test, thank you so much.’”

“It’s been extremely rewarding. i’ve touched up on a lot of my old subjects – Gen Chem, Orgo [Organic Chemistry] – I’ve pretty much relearned Orgo two times over every week.”

The ASC is located in the Arts & Science Commons next to FLITE, in room 1017. In addition to specific course help, the Center also offers help with all-around study skills: memory, note-taking, test-taking, time management, and more.

“We have study skills available, which is really nice for incoming freshmen, because it helps teach them right off the bat what’s best for them,” said Dunn. “So if you’re not doing well in your classes, maybe it’s not just that you’re having trouble with the material. Maybe you don’t know how to prepare for it.”

Ferris also offers the Writing Center, which offers students similar help with writing. The Writing Center is located next door to the Academic Support Center in the Arts & Science Commons, creating a block of student academic support that students new and old can make use of.