Academic Resource Center

Whether you are a new or returning student, the Academic Resource Center extends a warm welcome and encourages you to use its programs and services.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) offers a variety of opportunities and support services for students to reach their potential and achieve their goals. Programs and services are available to enhance learning, improve skills, and promote success in courses. In the center, students will find computers, study aids, study tables, comfortable spots for reading, and friendly people to offer personalized help. Support for USF distance education students is happily provided by telephone and e-mail, and some tutoring is provided on a number of electronic platforms. All services are provided free of charge.

LOCATION & PHONE
Tower Hall, N316 | 815-740-5060

HOURS
Drop-In Tutoring: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (hours vary by subject area)
Tutoring By Appointment: Links to scheduling available on the MyUSF Portal.
Self Help Resources: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Mission Statement

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides students with academic support and promotes their scholastic growth. The center offers information, guidance, support, and services to assist students to successfully attain their educational goals. Aware of the inherent worth of all individuals, the center encourages students to recognize, develop, and strengthen their diverse talents, skills, and strengths.

Services

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a program that offers regularly scheduled reviews, discussions, study strategies, and exam preparation for historically difficult courses. Each session is guided by an SI leader, a student who has been successful in the course, knows what the professor expects, and can help you succeed!

Typical Benefits of SI

  • Informal small group
  • Increased understanding of course material
  • Stronger and more effective study strategies
  • Higher grades, on average, than students who do not participate in SI
  • Higher graduation rates than non-participants

SI is provided for any student in an SI-designated class who wants to improve his or her understanding of course material and improve their grade! Details are announced in class during the first week and are always available at the ARC and on the MyUSF Portal.

  • The Academic Resource Center provides tutoring to all its students free of charge. There is no limit to the number of visits a student is allowed per semester, but tutoring sessions are generally limited to an hour to maximize the efforts of both tutor and student.  Some tutoring is staffed with regular hours in centers while other subjects are by appointment.  By appointment tutoring can either be face to face or online. See the MyUSF portal for a complete and up to date schedule for all tutors, as well as directions for scheduling an appointment. If you have any questions about tutoring, please contact Amanda Poston at aposton@doublegcredit.net

  • Remember, all students are encouraged to utilize the resources at all points of their academic career to maximize their success in their courses. Tutoring can be utilized when an entire course is difficult, just a concept is fuzzy, or when students want feedback on their progress and work before moving forward with a project or assignment. Students seeking help with writing can come at all stages of the writing process—a complete draft is not necessary!

  • Because our center is focused on promoting independent learners, the tutors in the Academic Resource Center assist students in both the content of their courses and in their study habits.  All the tutors on staff are CRLA trained peer tutors.  The center itself is CRLA certified to grant tutors Level 1 (Tutor), Level 2 (Advanced Tutor), and Level 3 (Master Tutor) certifications.  Tutors who have achieved Level 3 have gone through 30 hours of training and completed 150 clock hours of tutoring.

Staff

Amanda Poston,
Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center

Amanda is a USF alumna, having received her M.S. Reading Specialist degree from the university. She has been an adjunct professor in USF’s College of Education since 2019 and was an elementary school teacher for 15 years. Amanda loves to travel and is working on adding to her list of the 12 countries she has visited. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, three daughters and five pets!

The ARC serves students who…

  • Desire tutoring
  • Seek new techniques for learning
  • Have questions about studying
  • Are preparing for exams
  • Seek study aids
  • Want good grades
  • Need new approaches to material and fresh study habits

Frequently Asked Questions

Tutoring is completely free. You can come as many times as you’d like during the semester for as many different subjects as you’d like.

Some subjects are by appointment, and some are walk-in. To get tutoring for a walk-in subject, like writing, math, and science, you look at the schedules (here) and just “walk in” when you are free.  Keep in mind that for walk-ins, it is a first-come, first served approach so manage your time effectively.  Science and math can tutor multiple students at once, so don’t assume that they are too busy for you if you see someone already working.  Always ask.  To make an appointment with any of our other tutors, use Tutor Matching Service.  Complete instructions are available in the Portal.  When you set the appointment, make sure to include:

  • Your name
  • The class you want tutoring for
  • What kind of topic you want tutoring for
  • How long you’d like to meet (30 minutes or an hour?)
  • All of the times you have that they could pick from

 The tutor will greet you and ask you what you want to work on for the session and together you’ll set some goals, create a short agenda and get to work. Tutoring is a collaborative service, so you should expect to really participate.  You might even talk more than the tutor—that’s a good thing! You might look at books, search things online, or go over your notes.  What you do in a session will be determined by you and the tutor.  If you want something explained differently or with different material, just ask. At the end of the tutoring session, you’ll be asked your 800 number so we can record the session. At the end of the week, you’ll get an email asking you to complete an evaluation.  This helps us assess how we’re doing.

The ARC uses login information in order to evaluate how well we are meeting student support needs on campus. All you have to do is provide your 800 number and the course you want help with to the tutor.  If you aren’t sure about that information, you can find it all in your portal.

Tutoring is available in the Academic Resource Center, Tower Hall N316.

Bring your notes, your textbook, your login information for any online reading/notes, and some questions you have for the tutor. The more organized you are before you come to the session, the more productive it can be.  Because every student is different, the tutor cannot know what you might need help with if you say something as broad as “Chapter 2”.  Instead, mark things that you want to make sure you understand correctly, or things you don’t understand at all.

Tutoring is for all students. We have students visit the center who want to make sure they get the A, students who want to move up a grade, students who need to move up  a few grades, students who don’t understand a small portion, and students who are rusty on some things since it has been a while since they understood.  No matter who you are, you can benefit from tutoring.  In fact, many of our tutors use each other for their other courses!

A list of our current tutors and their information can be found on the MyUSF Portal, but there are some truths about our tutors, regardless of who they are. All of our tutors are current students here at USF, and they’ve all been recommended by faculty for that subject area. Each tutor goes through training as outlined by the College Reading and Learning Association and have to participate in 10 hours of training each year.

Because they are peer tutors, it’s possible that your question is complicated enough that a professor should be the one to answer it. Don’t get discouraged!  The tutor will always try to help you understand the material, but they also don’t want to give misinformation.

The tutors cannot be expected to carry around all the books and notes for all the classes they’ve taken and can tutor—that would be one big backpack! Sometimes, too, information changes, and it’s important that you and the tutor have what is being currently covered by your professor as a resource. While tutors know the content well enough to help with material, they are not experts like your professors and sometimes need to verify that they are remembering things correctly.

Contact Us

Amanda Poston
Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center
aposton@doublegcredit.net
815-740-6444

Jennifer Ethridge
Director of Academic Center for Excellence
jethridge@doublegcredit.net
815-740-2286