Academic Success Center welcomes diversity
By Shawn Gakhal
At the Academic Success Center, a visitor will experience one of the following three things: tutors helping students, the sound of faint typing heard on computers and unlikely bonds being formed via daily conversation with a merry-go-round of students parading in and out through wooden doors.
The ASC has four wings: Academic Tutoring, the Freshman Peer Mentor Program, the Learning and Support Services Program, and Disability Services — with the latter two specifically tailored to helping the disabled in their education at Roosevelt University.
Academic Tutoring is on the second floor of the center, where students can work in groups, one-on-one with a tutor or sign in at a nearby computer and browse.
Nancy Litke, director of the ASC, spoke of the diversity that the center offers on a daily basis.
“Here you could see, it could be people with disabilities, mentors, tutors,” Litke said. “You kind of don’t know, which is what’s cool. It has this organic kind of diversity that is crunched together.”
Testing areas are on the first floor, allowing students to get help.
Litke talked about the kind of help that the disabled students can receive in the environment.
“Some of our students may need a reader, have someone type for them,” Litke said. “They may need a note taker.”
Litke said the relaxing atmosphere experienced by newcomers in the center is an attribution to the students.
“The students run our office,” Litke said. “We don’t use clerical. The students answer our phones and help proctor our exams.”
Senior Matt Parsons talked about the inviting ambiance at the ASC.
“It’s a place where I find other kinds of students just like myself,” Parsons said. “It’s a good place to get away and read. … You can get a lot of homework done in between classes, along with the fact that there’s assistance, if needed. You can get constructive criticism on papers. This is what I’m all about.”
It’s not only the students that get help. The tutors also learn new things assisting daily on the job.
Junior Rebecca Mendez, an emergency tutor at the center, spoke about the challenges presented.
“It’s not what I expected,” Mendez said. “It’s very different. We also house the disabilities department, so that adds a whole different dimension to the environment here. I’m constantly learning about people’s different ways of interpreting life and navigating through it and making me think about things that I hadn’t before. … You get different insights from them, what are their life experiences, how they see themselves in the world and how they’ve been interpreted by other people in the world.”
Although, Mendez said that the ASC isn’t just for helping.
“It’s also about learning about people that are different from you.”