The Academic Support Center (ASC) was established in 1984 to help reduce a high failure rate in English 101. The Writing Center, as it was then known, had a staff of three. Since then, many more services and staff members have been added, and support now extends far beyond the English department. In the fall of 2011, ASC administrators unveiled a revised mission in order to define the role of the Center with greater accuracy and clarity. The ASC provides critical services for students during the period of transition (both academic and social) to life at The Citadel. Furthermore, the ASC equips students with the tools they need to achieve academic success culminating in graduation.
The ASC gives incoming students the opportunity to seek assistance if they are struggling with the heightened academic demands of college life. The Learning Strategies Program pairs each student with a professional tutor, and important skills such as time management, effective note taking, and the mitigation of test anxiety are reinforced. While a large percentage of students find themselves in good academic standing after the first semester, Academic Coaching is a program offered each spring, which helps struggling students get back on track.
Students have access to individual tutoring in a large number of classes through the ACS's Subject Area Tutoring (S.A.T.) Program. Many of the tutors are currently employed in industries related to their field of expertise, allowing them to impart a valuable combination of practical and theoretical insights. All aspects of the writing process are covered in Writing Lab, where instruction is also available on an individual basis.
Another program offered by the ASC is Supplemental Instruction (SI). An SI leader attends class with students in addition to holding twice-weekly review sessions that emphasize collaborative learning. Operating on the belief that students learn most effectively when they are required to explain or teach material themselves, these sessions help students take control of their learning by making them active participants in the process. In addition to the SI Program, Math Lab offers group tutoring for math classes up through Calculus II.
The Academic Support Center also provides accommodations for students with documented disabilities. These arrangements are made on an individual basis (candidates must meet with the Director of the Academic Support Center to discuss their needs) and are designed to equalize access to educational opportunities. In a similar vein, equal access is provided to Citadel student-athletes through Athletic Academic Services (AAS). Student athletes' practice and competition schedules make it difficult to visit the ASC during regular service hours. The AAS Program provides these students access to individual tutors concerning those aspects of their studies that need attention.
All tutors and Supplemental Instruction (SI) leaders are required to go through a minimum of ten hours of training each school year until they reach Master/Level 3 certification. In addition, SI leaders are trained according to standards set forth by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missori-Kansas-City. Our Tutor Training Program has been certified through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).
In the summer of 2011, the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) chose The Citadel Academic Support Center as the recipient of the Frank L. Christ Outstanding Learning Center Award. This honor is a testament to the hard work of the fifty plus tutors and four full-time administrators who now make up the staff of the ASC and clearly indicates the vital role this resource plays in The Citadel community.