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Still Centered

Academic Achievement Center continues as resource in changing times
Story Series

Anxiety set in for Bridgewater State University junior Katie Wandrey as she sat down in her Cumberland, Rhode Island, home to begin her online classes.

Like most schools across the country, BSU transitioned fully to online/remote learning this semester in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Not everyone made a smooth transition.

“Being at home and having to do all this classwork and homework basically by myself, I was super overwhelmed and couldn’t even get myself to sit down and simply make a list to see what I have to do,” said Katie, a marketing major.

To manage her stress and anxiety she reached out to BSU’s Academic Achievement Center (AAC) and made use of its coaching service to get back on track.

“The coaching service helped me think through my problems and not let them overwhelm me, it has helped immensely,” Katie said.

When the university moved to an online learning environment, the ACC knew it was important to stay connected and continue to provide students with support.

“We help students get connected right away. We are able to offer pretty much everything we were offering before. All is done remotely by appointment,” said Kathryn Crisostomo, AAC assistant director.

Writing support, supporting students for whom English is not their first language, accounting and finance support, math services, and tutors are all available, as well as academic coaching.

“Many students are overwhelmed right now. They are struggling with how to make a plan. They may need help with structuring their day, how to approach classes the rest of the semester, procrastination, all can be managed through academic coaching,” Crisostomo said.

 Which is exactly the type of guidance Katie needed; she encourages other students who might be struggling to reach out.

“Thirty minutes of talking about what’s going on with your schoolwork isn’t going to hurt you, it will only help you,” she said. “College is hard and overwhelming and the AAC is part of what you pay for at BSU so why not use it. Even the smartest, most able-bodied people in the world need help, so might as well get some for free.”

Crisostomo said, since moving to online/remote learning numbers are slightly down in terms of students using AAC services.

“It’s a little alarming, but we want students to know we are here. It’s not the same as face-to-face but students might be surprised at how much they get out of an interaction with a tutor or coach,” she said.

Students, like Katie, who have been using the AAC services remotely, have nothing but good things to say.

“I really think coaching and tutoring can be a little bit of a reprieve and support for students during this tumultuous time. If anything, it’s nice to connect with another person and have that reassurance,” Crisostomo said.

To contact BSU’s Academic Achievement Center call 508-531-1214 or visit them online.

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