Research has shown that student development is enhanced by a college environment that balances rigorous challenge with meaningful support. While the vast majority of students undoubtedly desire the reinforcement of their academic efforts through achieving the best grades, this desire sometimes prevents some students from getting the most out of the college experience.

In contrast to the secondary environment where good grades are considered to be synonymous with good learning, that is not always the case in college where it is more important to know how to learn rather than what to learn. The Academic Tutoring and Training Information Center (ATTIC) proactively establishes a variety of preferred options for academic enrichment and support to help students do just that. These options consist of drop-in labs, mentored study groups, and our supplemental instruction program. All of these support options meet multiple times a week and are staffed by a Peer Tutors/SI Leaders who have previously been successful in the course they are supporting and are specifically trained in various techniques to help students better understand course content. In addition, academic tutors and SI Leaders in preferred support paradigms regularly meet with the professor and receive regular updates regarding particularly challenging material. SI Leaders even sit in on the courses that they are supporting so that they can take notes and experience the course for a second (third or fourth) time. SI Leaders and peer tutors are specifically trained to explain things differently than the professor due to the overall expectation that students gain a full understanding of a concept under study and have an ability to relate it to both practical and theoretical situations. Our research shows that those students who regularly attend these sessions achieve higher grades, but most importantly, they more fully understand the concepts rather than simply memorizing the professor’s explanations. This is a key to future success.

A full schedule of available preferred support options in any given semester can be found on the ATTIC’s website, You are welcome to contact the ATTIC with questions or concerns relating to academic support and enrichment.

Christopher Selena
Director of the ATTIC