CAS provides students with a multitude of academic resources

Photo by Andrew T. Kurtenbach/Prospectus News Tutoring Coordinator Omar Adawi assists Engineering majors Sam Bieber and Alex Gaynor as they work through their homework in the Center for Academic Success in room D120.Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.

Photo by Andrew T. Kurtenbach/Prospectus News
Tutoring Coordinator Omar Adawi assists Engineering majors Sam Bieber and Alex Gaynor as they work through their homework in the Center for Academic Success in room D120.Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.

Humna Sharif
Staff Writer

The Center for Academic Success, also known as CAS, is located in the D-wing of Parkland College. It’s a place centered on Student Learning and Success. The services provided by CAS include math faculty tutoring, peer tutoring, writing lab, academic development lab, advising, and personal planning.

“We look at CAS as a place for students who need help academically, we provide them the resources and help they need to succeed here at Parkland with their courses,” Tracey Hickox, Director of the Center for Academic Success said.

“Students usually come here to get help with their math. We also have a lot of students who use the services of the writing lab,” CAS Assistant Anita Taylor said.

The writing lab is one of the biggest resources of CAS. Students can go and get help from faculty members present there. Faculty will provide assistance on understanding a particular assignment. They will also look over rough drafts and help students figure out the best way to write something that best meets the assignment given to them.

“Faculty at the writing lab do not proof read papers, and they also don’t write anything for the students. However, they do help students come up with their own ideas about the writing assignment and then help students refine those ideas and translate them onto a paper,” Taylor added.

Another resource that CAS offers is faculty tutoring and peer tutoring. Parkland College has a nationally certified peer tutoring program. CAS has tutors for math, natural sciences, computer sciences, and accounting.

Omar Adawi is a full time math faculty member; he is also the Peer Tutoring Coordinator for CAS.

“Peer tutors are actually Parkland College students who are doing well in their chosen field of study,” Adawi explained. “To be eligible to become a peer tutor, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. I prefer to hire students who are able to tutor in at least two different subjects. This semester we have 13 peer tutors available.”

Applications for peer tutoring can be filled out in the career center. Peer tutors have to be enrolled in a tutor training course simultaneously while they are they are tutoring.

Strategies and methods for tutoring are taught in the course. The tutoring course is worth one credit hour and is provided to the students free of cost.

CAS data shows that an average of 60 people per day use the faculty tutoring and peer tutoring services. The majority of the students using the faculty tutoring or peer tutoring services at CAS need help with math in some form or another.

Data also shows that students who use the tutoring program eight or more times a semester have higher chance of getting an A, B, or C than students who use the program less than eight times.

“Sometimes they wait too long before they come here and they have already failed an exam and their grade is suffering. So I believe there are still a great many students who are not taking advantage of the resources we have here,” Adawi added.

CAS also has an Academic Development Lab, which offers learning software to assist students in preparing for the developmental courses. CAS also offers tutorial and module courses that are worth one or two credit hours.

“It’s a great resource for students who sometimes need help with developmental courses,” Hickox elaborated. “They need to pass these courses to be able to place in certain courses that are required for their major. Here at CAS we can help them get ready for those developmental courses. It’s a free service and students can spend as much time as they need to get ready for their class.”

These courses are designed to help students fulfill their below 100 level reading, writing, and math requirements. Preparation for TEAS and help with elementary chemistry is also provided through tutorials.

The Advising and Personal planning unit of CAS is there to help students achieve academic success. Student Development Advocates assist students in understanding college expectations, choosing a field of study, and picking classes for different semesters. CAS advisors also provide assistance pertaining to time management and out of class issues.

Some units within the CAS have selective hours on weekday evenings as well as Fridays. In general it is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on any of the resources available visit room D-128.