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ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services is ready to help

December 4, 2019

Whether a Huskie is struggling through a course or just needs a little extra help with homework, Access to Courses and Careers through Educational Support Services(ACCESS) Tutoring and Support Services offers several free programs to help students meet their academic goals.

“We are here to provide undergraduate students with the assistance they need in order to be successful in their courses and majors,” said Kimberly Johnson, acting director of ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services. “Everyone learns differently and that’s why we provide a variety of tutoring services.”

Located in Stevenson South, B Tower (lower level), ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services is a vital resource for students. From peer-facilitated small group workshops like the A+ Program to Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), a one-on-one tutoring session (by appointment) and walk-in weekly tutoring sessions and Supplemental Instruction (SI), an interactive support program led by trained NIU students who understand  the demands of the course, there is something to meet the needs of every Huskie.

“Everyone that comes to NIU can be successful and PAL can help a student reach that success,” said

Wilfredo Najarro, a senior majoring in political science and PAL tutor. “We are a support system designed to service you; we want you to succeed and when you do, that’s the most amazing part of this job.”

Tutoring centers are located in Stevenson South, New Residence Hall (West Hall, room B004), Founders Memorial Library (room 393). Najarro said that PAL tutors help students with course content while also teaching students ways to improve study skills.

“The PAL tutors make a difference in a lot of student’s educational path,” Najarro said. “We also serve as a support system for them; sometimes the students need someone to talk to or just need to be told it’s going to be okay. We can point students to additional resources on campus.”

Another resource offered by ACCESS is Supplemental Instruction (SI), weekly collaborative review sessions for historically challenging courses. The SI leader attends the course, listens to class discussions and completes the same notes, quizzes and exams as students do which allows them to effectively explain and facilitate learning material.

“I enjoy seeing other students get excited about their grades improving,” said Rachel Einhaus, a senior majoring in psychology and SI leader. “Huskies should take advantage of services SI offers because when we pay a lot to get an education it makes sense to utilize any free opportunities given at the university.”

Mohammed Alshamrani turned to ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services to get some extra help with Chemistry 110.

“I attended the SI session and the office hours,” said Alshamrani, who is majoring in public health administration. “I have been enjoying both services and most importantly – if it was not for the services – I would not be getting an ‘A’ so far.”

Alshamrani said his tutor does a great job of further explaining the information he learns in class.

“I am grateful that NIU provides such a great service,” Alshamrani said. “Students who attended the office hours and the SI session did really well in the past exams; in my opinion, SI has a really great impact on a lot of student’s grades.”

And according to Johnson-Jones, it’s not just an opinion.

“Students who use SI frequently perform at a better level than students who do not attend SI sessions,” Johnson-Jones said. “Once they utilize our resources they gain a deeper understanding of the course material which helps them as they continue on their degree path.”

Johnson-Jones said all ACCESS services are in place to help Huskies succeed, whether they are being tutored or leading the tutoring session.

“If you don’t need the help that’s awesome; you can join our team to help your peers,” Johnson-Jones said. “We’re looking to hire students with excellent academic backgrounds who wish to tutor in the sciences, mathematics and other computation-based courses such as accountancy, chemistry, physics and biology.”

Go to ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services or email [email protected]

ACCESS Tutoring and Support Services offers a variety of free tutoring programs to help Huskies succeed.

  • A+ Program provides workshops for time management, effective reading and test anxiety.

    The A+ Program offers free peer-facilitated small group workshops to improve undergraduate students’ reading skills, study strategies, organization and critical thinking skills.

    Workshops topics include efficient textbook reading, effective reading, time management, testing strategies, test anxiety, note-taking skills and learning styles.
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) offers walk-in and appointment-based tutoring.

    PAL provides one-on-one appointments and walk-in weekly tutoring with trained NIU students who understand firsthand the demands of the course.

    Students will be matched with an advanced NIU student who has completed the College Reading and Learning Association tutor training. Students are eligible for up to three hours of tutoring per week, per course.

    For appointments in Founders Memorial Library 393, create an account online and then schedule a session. Be sure to select “PAL Fall 2019 Founders Library” and then the course.

    Walk-In Tutoring is also available at New Residence Hall and Founders Library. No appointments are necessary. Check the tutoring center schedules and stop by to get help.

    If you have any questions or are unable to schedule an appointment call 815-753-0499 or stop by in person.
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) offers an enhanced interactive alternative to tradition tutoring for some specific courses.

    Supplemental Instruction (SI) offers weekly collaborative review sessions in historically difficult courses. SI provides academic support for students in the course section who want to learn effective learning strategies, understand course material and improve their grades. The SI leader serves as a model student by attending a course where SI is attached, hearing what students hear and reading what students read. Students who use SI frequently perform at a level of half to a full letter grade better than students who do not attend.

For more academic support visit ACCESS in Stevenson South B Tower (lower level). They are open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays. For more information, call 815-753-8586.