Chapter 3 Support and Resources
In the same way that post-secondary institutions provide student support services, they also have many course and academic supports available. These can include:
Writing labs are often available at regular specified times. Here students can get assistance with written assignments, reports, and essays. Students can get feedback on draft copies receiving suggestions on formatting, structure, backing up and supporting ideas, and citations of sources. Watch for these labs as they are an invaluable tool for increasing the quality of written assignments and subsequently increasing grades. Getting good at writing papers will serve you well throughout your program.
Often post-secondary institutions have learning centres where students can go to work on their courses. They have access to computers and printers. They often have tutors available who can help with basic assignment queries and essay writing. It can also be a place where students can gather for group work on assignments and projects. As well, it can be a place to make connections with other students.
Educational libraries not only have invaluable research material for assignments, but they have helpful librarians who can assist you in many ways. They can help you learn how to access academic journals, discern whether a source is suitable for a research paper, find online journals, assist with research, assist with inter-library loans, do effective online searches, and cite sources correctly using appropriate style guides. Often they even have laptops to borrow. As well, libraries are an effective place to use as a study area. Often, they even have study rooms you can book to use for group work.
Peer tutors are students in your class who have been identified as strong students who are willing to help other students in the class. They are paid through the college and provide classmates with relevant support. The peer tutor program matches students who have identified a need for extra help in specific subjects with students who have a good background in the subject area and an interest in tutoring. It is not only good for the one receiving tutoring, the tutors find that by explaining concepts to others, they solidify their own learning. The tutors make a little bit of extra income while reviewing their own class material.
Study Skills Workshops
Watch for scheduled study skills workshops to help with specific tools on test-taking, answering multiple-choice questions, essay writing, note-taking, reading strategies, time management, and memory skills. They are usually short workshops offered over lunch or between classes.
Look on the college or university’s web site for relevant tutorials. There are often video tutorials on things that students often have questions about. These can be very useful on those late night work sessions.
Student Help Desk
Information Technology (I.T.) support services are available for students who are experiencing technical difficulties. This is especially important for online students who may be struggling to upload an assignment, or access the online course portal. They can help with connection problems, college email accounts, accessing course software, or other annoying computer issues related to your courses.
Consider the above list and make note of which course supports would be useful for you on your educational journey. Take a tour (on site or online) around the institutions you are considering attending, or the one you have decided to attend, and see where the student supports and course supports are located.