Navigating Academic Resources
This term I am taking a fourth class called "Learning at Dartmouth." Learning at Dartmouth is a program hosted by the ASC (Academic Skills Center) that teaches first-year students fundamental academic skills and acquaints them with resources across campus that can be used to enhance their academic experience at Dartmouth. This class also counts for one of three PE/Wellness credits students have to take during their time at Dartmouth. It's not necessary to take this class in order to access academic resources, but it is helpful to discover resources you didn't know existed!
In this blog post, I thought I'll outline some resources on campus that I've learned about through this class, and that have helped me and my peers so far this year:
In my blog post about my first ever college paper, I wrote about making an appointment at Dartmouth's Peer Writing Center, RWIT, and how it helped me. I'm proud to say that I have continued that trend, and made an RWIT appointment for every paper since—and it remains incredibly useful.
RWIT is located in Baker-Berry Library, and you can make appointments online or in person, or even request asynchronous feedback. The peer tutors can help you with any step of a paper or writing project process, from coming up with an argument to making some final touches—you can find out more about what they can help with at their website here.
The Academic Skills Center also hosts weekly Group Tutoring sessions—these are usually for large, introductory courses. For example, I have several friends in CS 001 (an introductory computer science course) who go to group tutoring sessions weekly, and have found that discussing difficult concepts with an assembly of peers helps them to understand course material better.
I haven't yet taken classes that have corresponding group tutoring sessions—I've mostly taken small, seminar–style courses—but if I ever do, I will likely take advantage of this resource.
These sessions are hosted every Monday, and the topics cover a wide area, from dealing with test anxiety to building meaningful relationships. Also, tea and snacks are included!
Get It Done
The 'Get It Done' event is a series of timed work sessions over a period of 90 minutes, facilitated by an ASC staff member. Everyone who attends simply works on whatever they need to get done—hence the title. There are breaks to chat and mingle, and it's a great opportunity to do work in a focused environment, while also making new friends! (I attend weekly, and I've made several friends over the course of a few Get It Done sessions!)
Academic Coaching is yet another resource offered through the ASC, and it's basically like academic therapy: you go to the coach with any academic problems/struggles you have, and then they can diagnose the problem and give you tools to help you succeed in that academic area.
For example, I have a friend who went for help because they were struggling to get their readings done. During their session, the coach taught them how to read and skim academic journals more effectively. Another peer went for help with time management skills, and the coach helped them find a system that worked for them. I was having trouble with a group project, and I went to get advice on how to navigate this interpersonal-but-academic dilemma. Overall, this is a great resource to use if you're struggling with anything academic but don't know how to start solving it.
There are tons of resources at Dartmouth to help students navigate their academic experience—enough to fill several blog posts! I outlined the ones I've used most frequently/have found the most helpful, but who knows, perhaps I'll do a part 2 discussing office hours, TAs, and research librarians…
For now, I'll leave you with this: If there's anything that a student struggles with academically, there is a resource somewhere on campus that they can take advantage of. Dartmouth wants to support the academic success of every student. To facilitate that success, they provide ample resources for students.