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As finals approach, the AAC continues to provide hands-on academic support

Published: April 13, 2022 Author: Macklin Caruso

As finals week fast approaches, Ohio University’s Academic Achievement Center (AAC) continues to provide OHIO students with top-quality tutoring and a host of other resources intended to deliver academic success.

“The AAC is welcoming to everyone, and they have so many resources. Really any resource you need, the AAC can help you with,” said Taylor Bonn, lead biology tutor at the AAC.

The AAC provides free tutoring and academic resources for all students. The services provided cover both advanced courses of study, as well as most general level classes. In total, the AAC offers tutoring for over 125 OHIO courses.

“A common misconception is we are teachers, and we know everything about every course we tutor and that isn’t the case always,” said Sean Mahoney, who tutors business classes. “My goal is to be as individual to individual as possible. Don’t think of me as some ‘know all, be all senior.’ I’m a senior and a normal guy too.”

In addition to traditional tutoring, the AAC offers an array of services to students. For some of OHIO’s traditionally difficult courses, the AAC offers Supplemental Instruction, or SI, which involves a series of weekly sessions that allow students to review that week’s course work. There is also academic coaching, which is less course-specific and focuses more on experienced students helping their peers succeed through one-on-one sessions; and the Writing Commons, a student support center that offers free writing assistance.

“You never have to be embarrassed to seek help,” Mahoney said.

Senior Abby Garnett enrolled in developmental math — a subject she traditionally struggled in — during the second semester of her first year at OHIO. She soon started using tutoring services, where she was tutored twice a week by a fellow Bobcat. By the end of the semester, she passed the class with a B+.

“I struggled with math, so to be given resources and an environment where I felt confident to ask questions, make mistakes, and not feel bad about my responses was extremely encouraging,” she said. “I went into exams and assignments self-assured that I knew what I was doing, and it was honestly such a stress relief.”

Stories like Garnett’s are not unique. According to Elizabeth Fallon, director for academic assistance at OHIO, half of all students who seek support through the AAC leave with over a 3.0 grade-point average.

“I love seeing people have that ‘aha’ moment,” Bonn said. “The most rewarding is when they come back and are like, ‘I got an A on this test,’” she said. “I really like that they can tell me that they are proud of themselves.”

Bonn said she typically sees students start coming to the AAC during the first week of the semester, however there is also a consistent influx before major exams. The reasons why students attend the AAC vary, she said, but generally it provides an alternative to learning within the construct of just the classroom. For a lot of students, asking questions in class can be intimidating, so the AAC offers a direct alternative to that. “I think it opens up an opportunity to ask questions,” she said.

Mahoney agreed, stating that he has seen a lot of proactiveness among students this year.

Bonn encouraged students who are struggling or want to be proactive to come by the AAC, noting that it is totally risk-free and provides hands-on support from students who have been in the same position before.

“The most fulfilling thing is seeing people really happy to be figuring out a homework problem,” Mahoney said.

Students interested in the services at the AAC can schedule using TutorTrac. They can also call 740.593.2644 or email tutoring@ohio.edu.