Academic services move to FLITE

Center hopes to gain a wider range of students

Kaitlyn Kirchner | Torch Photographer

The Academic Support and Writing Centers (ASWC) will be moving to FLITE this year in an effort to localize all the academic services available to students.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paul Blake said students often come in thinking they have a writing problem but they really have a reading or visual problem. Having all services in one building will allow for easy referrals, especially with the plan to eventually have
an optometry clinic available, according to Blake.

“When I was teaching here, I had a student in class once who was able to identify a visual problem and what this student said was, ‘Oh my God, you mean I’m not stupid?’ Because they had felt for a lot of years that they were less than intelligent because they couldn’t identify the barrier. Once we identified the barrier we got past it and the person had a whole new sense of confidence that they had never had before. So, I hope that’s what we are going to have for a lot of students,” Blake said.

ASWC has set records every year for student participation, but Blake hopes the move to FLITE will enhance the already climbing numbers and begin to normalize students getting academic help.

“For example, it could be a pre-op student who just hit a barrier with, say, organic chemistry. There are ways to get past those barriers that have nothing to do with disabilities or have nothing to do with deficits, we just need to identify what the problem is so we can correct it,” Blake said. “I think as students realize that that’s what we are doing, that’s what it’s there for and they can have access to multiple services and get a better sense of what those services are, I think we are going to find we have real increase in usage.”

Ferris health care systems administration junior Alison Dodd said she believes the center will get a greater amount of attention after its move to FLITE. Dodd has utilized the services at the center since her freshman year and now works there.

“Having the centers and FLITE all within one building makes everything so much easier to access when needed,” Dodd said. “Just being steps away from all of those students who may run into some challenges when completing their homework or projects will now allow them to feel more at ease knowing there is a center full of staff that are ready to help them figure out whatever the issue may be so that they are able to walk back to their work space and continue their work.”

FLITE is a location that makes more sense for the centers, according to Ferris English senior Sam Kodeski, who works at the Writing Center.

“I’m hoping that it’s going to be a more open and quieter atmosphere. It can be a little loud here and some students might be embarrassed—because we usually read the work out loud—and it’s hard for them to listen to the words being spoken aloud because it’s a personal thing,” Kodeski said. “So, having an area that’s a little bit quiet and we can sit and talk and have a one-on-one conversation without the distractions will definitely be beneficial – not only for students that come in but for us as a whole.”