Academic development free for all

A freshman wakes up one Monday morning, six weeks into his first semester, and gasps for a breath.

A 20-page paper is due on Friday: “How the Development of a Capitalistic Enterprise Affected Laissez-faire Mercantilism in the Early 1900s.” His Calculus II midterm on integral and derivative based volume and area calculations is tommorrow. He has to prepare a 10-minute presentation on the “free entrance plausibility in an oligopoly” for Economics 211 by Thursday. And he has two student meetings today – plus rowing practice in 20 minutes.

This scenario is not that uncommon for today’s college students and it can be addressed far before the stress takes over. “If you get yourself into a bind [academically] we can help,” says Jim Fatzinger, Assistant Director of the Academic Development Center

The Academic Development Center exists to provide free assistance to any student in need – be it remedial help or learning enhancement. The center is prepared to help students on an array of problems or issues, and provides services including peer tutoring, supplemental instruction and disability services.

Dr. Perri Lee Roberts, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, emphasizes that the center is much more than an aid for struggling students. “In fact, there is a misconception with the Academic Development Center. We have found that A and B level students take advantage of the center to improve their grades further.”

Most students who enter college realize there are many educational opportunities after their undergraduate career. In fact, it is sometimes more difficult to get accepted into graduate, law or medical schools than undergraduate school. Students realize they must retain information after the class is over and grades are posted.

“The Academic Development Center is available for all students, and we will meet the needs for any class,” Fatzinger said. “If you come to us, asking for assistance in any class, we will find you a tutor at no cost.”

The Academic Development Center has a variety of opportunities in education. It will provide a personal tutor for any subject. If five or more students request help in a specific course, the center will provide supplemental instruction [SI]. A student who has already taken the course will sit in on the class, and meet with those students outside the classroom to discuss strategies for the material.

Another great opportunity available to all students is a free test provided by the Academic Development Center called the L.A.S.S.I., or Learning and Study Skills Inventory. The test is self-administered and identifies students’ strong and week points with studying. Based on the results, the center can recommend classes to assist any student with the development of a certain skill.

The center also provides Brown Bag Lunch Workshops, available to assist students in areas outside the classroom.

“Time Management is the most popular of the sessions that we have,” Fatzinger said. “We bring in experts of the fields to explain the topics covered.”

Since the Academic Development Center has become such an asset to students before they actually need help, plans are underway for expansion. The Office of the Provost sees the center as an asset for all students, no matter where they stand academically.

“The Academic Development Center will definitely improve academic services everywhere on campus.” Roberts said.

If you are interested in any programs offered by the Academic Development Center, visit, or call 305-284-2800.