As the finals approach, the AAC continues to provide hands-on academic support
As graduation week quickly approaches, Ohio University‘s Academic Achievement Center (AAC) continues to provide OHIO’s students with world-class instruction and a variety of other resources aimed at achieving academic success.
“AAC welcomes everyone and has so many resources. The AAC can really help you with any resource you need,” said Taylor Bonn, senior biology tutor at the AAC.
The AAC offers free tutoring and academic resources for all students. The services offered cover both advanced study courses and most general education courses. In all, the AAC offers tutoring for over 125 OHIO courses.
“A common misconception is that we’re teachers and we know everything about every course that we teach, and that’s not always the case,” said Sean Mahoney, who teaches business courses. “My goal is to be as individual as possible. Don’t think of me as someone who “knows everything, has experienced everything”. I am a senior and also a normal guy.”
In addition to traditional tutoring, the AAC offers students a range of services. For some of OHIO’s traditionally difficult courses, the AAC offers Supplemental Instruction, or SI, which is a series of weekly sessions that allow students to review that week’s coursework. There is also academic coaching that is less course specific and more focused on experienced students helping their fellow students succeed through one-to-one sessions; and the Writing Commons, a student support center that offers free writing assistance.
“You never have to be ashamed to seek help,” Mahoney said.
Senior Abby Garnett enrolled in the sophomore of her freshman year at OHIO in developmental mathematics—a subject in which she has traditionally struggled. She soon began using tutoring services, where she was tutored twice a week by another Bobcat. At the end of the semester she passed the class with a B+.
“I struggled with math, so it was extremely encouraging to have resources and an environment where I felt safe to ask questions, make mistakes, and not feel bad about my answers,” she said. “I went into exams and assignments knowing I knew what I was doing and honestly it was such a stress reliever.”
Stories like Garnett’s are not unique. According to Elizabeth Fallon, OHIO’s director of academic support, half of all students who seek AAC support graduate with a GPA above 3.0.
“I love seeing people have that ‘aha’ moment,” Bonn said. “The most rewarding thing is when they come back and say, ‘I got an A on this test,'” she said. “I really like that they can tell me they’re proud of themselves.”
Bonn said she usually sees students coming to the UK in the first week of the term, but there is also a steady influx before the big exams. The reasons students attend AAC vary, she said, but in general it offers an alternative to learning within the classroom-only construct. For many students, asking questions in class can be intimidating, so AAC offers a direct alternative. “I think it opens up an opportunity to ask questions,” she said.
Mahoney agreed, explaining that he saw a lot of student initiative that year.
Bonn encouraged students who are struggling or who want to be proactive to come to AAC, noting that it is completely risk-free and offers practical support to students who have previously been in the same position.
“The most fulfilling thing is seeing people who are genuinely happy doing a homework problem,” Mahoney said.