Family Resources

Academic Check-in: September 2020

Very soon, if not already, students will receive their first round of test scores for various courses. These grades can be an important indicator of the need to seek academic support. Often, students brush off the first exam, and commit to “trying harder.” One question we like to ask students is “What does trying harder look like?” or, “Can you tell me what you did last time that didn’t work, and what you will change this time?” At the ASC, we encourage students to identify specific actions and behaviors that they believe will lead them to achieving their academic goals. It is very common for students to arrive at college and discover that the kind of studying that worked in high school, does not work very well here at Iowa State. It is also very common for students to perform very well in high school without ever having to study at all! Because they haven’t previously had to use academic support services, students can often be hesitant to engage with that support at college, even if it is very clear they would benefit.

Families can play an important role in getting their student connected to academic support resources. The Academic Success Center (ASC) is here to help with a full range of services for the fall! Nearly all services are FREE, with a small fee assessed for tutoring sessions (financial support is available and students can select options on the online application or it can be charged to the u-Bill). On average, the ASC serves between 30% and 40% of the undergraduate population, or between 8,600 and 14,000+, students each year. We assist students with a wide variety of goals including wanting to maintain good academic standing or striving to achieve an A in a course. You can encourage your student to seek support. Here are some talking points that might help you navigate the conversation in an effective way:

  • It sounds like you are overwhelmed with trying to balance your coursework. I can understand why you feel that way with different course delivery methods and expectations this semester. Did you know that there are coaches at the Academic Success Center that can help you get organized and find time management strategies that work for you? I think it would be a good idea to check it out and see if it could help. It looks like you can easily schedule an appointment through ISU Appointments on AccessPlus. What do you think, will you give it a try?
  • You seem disappointed in your test/quiz score for INSERT CLASS. It sounds like you studied a lot, but maybe weren’t sure of the best way to cover the material. I checked the schedule and saw that there are free Supplemental Instruction sessions for your course three times each week. What do you think about committing to attending one of those sessions a week? It is virtual, so you’d just need to login to the link and check it out. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone prepare study plans and problems for you, rather than trying to figure it all out yourself?
  • From what I hear you saying, it sounds like INSERT CLASS is challenging. I hate to see you struggle with it. I saw on the ASC website that you can get tutoring for most courses at Iowa State – and it is offered online this semester. It looks like there is an easy online application where you can submit a request. What do you think about applying? I don’t think it would hurt to try it, and there will be other students from the course who might have some of the same questions you do.