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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Campus resources: Academic success, career advising

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Photo by Graphic by Melanie McBride

Students looking for additional resources to aid in academic success have several on-campus options that are available at no cost. 

Texas A&M offers an abundance of academic resources to ensure student success in classes while also preparing them for their future employment opportunities.
There are a variety of academic resources available for student use including the University Libraries, Career Center and Office of Professional School Advising, the Academic Success Center and the University Writing Center. 
Universities Libraries 
The University Libraries system offers five on-campus libraries for students of all majors and degrees. 
Associate Dean for User Services Susie Goodwin said each students’ NetID serves as their library card to check out physical materials as well as access free online services offered at www.library.tamu.edu. Each library has various study spaces available for students who are looking for either quiet or collaborative spaces, Goodwin said, and the AskUs service offers online and in-person opportunities to ask questions and receive research assistance.
“We want students to be successful in their studies and hope you find the libraries a welcoming place to come and study and get help,” Goodwin said to The Battalion in an email. “We believe that adding the libraries to your daily routine for successful study and lifelong learning is the equivalent to an apple a day for good health! Whatever you need, our librarians have you covered, we are here to help you.”
The libraries also house subject librarians who are able to help students with research in their expertise. 
“For in-depth research assistance or a more personalized orientation to the library for your major, students can also book an appointment with their specific subject Librarian who is familiar with questions and research assignments in your major,” Goodwin said. “If you are not sure who your subject librarian is, you can look them up via our find my librarian tool available on our Service page.”
The Evans Annex and Business Library & Collaborative Commons have 24-hour access every Sunday through Thursday for use as a student space. 
Career Center & Office of Professional School Advising 
The Career Center offers services to prepare students for their future employment and helps to provide career-related information, programs and experience. The center offers appointments for career readiness advising including resume and cover letter help, interview preparation and career options for students who are not sure where they want to go after they receive their degrees. 
Executive director Samantha Wilson said the center hosts various workshops and career exploration days to help students steer their paths toward the career they may want to pursue. Additionally, the Career Center helps to connect Aggies with future career opportunities with their job platform HireAggies in conjunction with the Association of Former Students. 
“It is important that students register with HireAggies as early as their first semester on campus to have access to all campus recruiting activity at Texas A&M University,” Wilson said to The Battalion in an email. “Through the portal, students have access to thousands of opportunities and thousands of employers specifically seeking Texas A&M students.”
Wilson said she encourages students to begin using the Career Center as soon as they arrive at A&M. 
“Start now. We recommend that students visit the Career Center as early as their first semester on campus and continue meeting with their career advisor. We have multiple advisors who work specifically with first- and second-year students, assisting them with the career exploration process,” Wilson said. “Many employers are looking for candidates with multiple internships or co-ops, so the earlier students engage with the Career Center, the better. To be a quality candidate in the future, students must begin thinking about their futures now.”
Additionally, through the Career Center, the Office of Professional School Advising offers guidance for students who are wishing to pursue professional schooling after completing their bachelor’s degree. The center helps to prepare students for applying and attending various professional programs in health and law. 
“Professional School Advising staff assist students applying to a variety of programs through one-on-one advising, virtual and in-person workshops, panel programs, online tools, assistance in gaining experience, preparation for the application process, personal statement reviews and evaluation letter collection,” Wilson said. 
The Career Center also works with former students to provide opportunities to Aggies at all points in their career journeys.
“Former Student Career Services hosts monthly webinars to provide an overview of resources designed to help Aggies explore career options, research opportunities, find industry connections and grow their professional network to compete in the evolving job markets,” Wilson said. 
Academic Success Center
With a variety of options available to use including tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, or SI, academic coaching and online resources, the Academic Success Center works to help students improve academic performances and push them to reach their goals academically. 
Communications manager Anna Transue said the staff at the center has helped to change students’ perspectives regarding their study habits and capabilities. 
“We have helped students overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” Transue said to The Battalion in an email. “It is not uncommon for students who work with our academic coaches to experience a complete transformation in their attitude and approach to college that results in increased grades, confidence and opportunities.”
The Academic Success Center has drop-in style tutoring for a variety of subjects. Transue said students can attend group sessions during the allotted time with no sign ups necessary. 
“Most commonly, we offer help in highly-requested, core-curriculum courses like 100- and 200-level math, chemistry and biology,” Transue said. “The availability of subjects and tutoring times changes each semester, so we recommend students check the searchable tutoring table on our website for up-to-date information, including a full list of subjects.”
Students who have a need for some guidance can look into the academic coaching program where academic coaches will help students with overcoming the obstacles of feeling overwhelmed, performing poorly in a class or even just making a schedule to keep up with all their academic commitments. 
“An academic coach will work with a student to identify roadblocks and set realistic, attainable and personally fulfilling academic goals,” Transue said. “Working with an academic coach helps students stay accountable and steer them on the path they want to travel.”
Students can also take part in SI, which is offered for certain classes across campus. Selected classes will receive a student SI leader who will lead weekly study sessions and reviews to help students learn concepts. 
“During an SI session, an SI leader will initiate collaborative learning activities that help students practice and review important or difficult course concepts,” Transue said. “The goal is to help students understand and apply course material so that they can become more independent learners and do better on projects and tests.”
The center also offers online resources for students who may not have time to come in for an appointment, including time management tools, online class tips and study plans. 
Transue said she encourages students to get help early by coming in before they are struggling. 
“Don’t wait until you’re in jeopardy of failing a class before seeking help,” Transue said. “Whether you’re having trouble attending class consistently or you didn’t do well on your first assignment, know your options for getting academic help before you think you’ll need it.”
University Writing Center 
The University Writing Center, or UWC, helps students to improve their writing and speaking skills. Assistant director Florence Davies said the center hires students with experience in writing and speaking areas to help develop students’ skills and go over things that students may want another set of eyes on. 
“The majority of our writing consultants are undergrad[uate] and graduate students. We hire our consultants from a variety of disciplines, we don’t just hire folks from the English department,” Davies said. “In fact, because we see so many students from a variety of disciplines, we hire consultants from a variety of disciplines as well. You may meet with an English major one day, and then a mechanical engineer the next day, or a graduate student who is in the business school the next day.”
The center also offers resources for English learners and provides a staff to help specifically with second language writing and public speaking
“We do have a variety of resources for folks who are English language learners, you can actually talk about whatever you’re concerned about, if you want to learn more about the United States or about A&M traditions or current events,” Florence said. “A lot of folks like to work on pronunciation, practicing interview skills, even practicing lectures, because a number of our folks who use the Writing Center are actually grad students who are teaching.”
Davies said the UWC strives to be a place where students can come if they have questions and to avoid panicking if they feel they may need help in the writing process. 
“One-on-one communication is really important. The only way that you can develop is by practicing those skills. If students can just think of the Writing Center as a place to practice, that’s low stakes,” Davies said. “We’re here to make you feel comfortable about writing and speaking, because it’s so important. If you don’t have your words, if you don’t have a voice, we really want to empower students to feel confident about their writing and speaking skills.”

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