Academic Support Programs Enable Student Success


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

As the Fall 2022 semester winds down, many students begin to feel a lot of anxiety about deadlines, exams and their overall performance in class. Academic Support Programs offers help to students throughout the semester. ASP offers a variety of programs students might not be familiar with. 

ASP is located primarily on the seventh floor of the Pioneer Tower with some offices on the sixth floor. According to the program description on Sharepoint, “Academic Support Programs offers a comprehensive range of services for UW-Platteville students.” In that range are writing and tutoring assistance, academic advising, academic coaching and peer mentoring. ASP also offers testing accommodations for students who require alternatives to classroom testing at the Testing Center in Karrmann Library.

ASP currently has 21 employees between the main campus and the two branch campuses, including 10 people on staff for advising, four for retention and six for both the Writing Center and Tutoring Center.

Executive Director of Retention and Academic Support, Karen McLeer, wants students to know that anyone can use the services that ASP offers. “It’s important to ask for help and students should not feel bad about it. Asking for help is a part of life,” McLeer said. 

Originally, ASP was located on the third floor of Brigham before they moved offices to the Pioneer Tower. UW-Platteville has always offered academic support for its students, but ASP officially became a program offered on campus since 2016. 

Progress Reports Vital to Student Success

ASP is also in charge of sending out progress reports. Progress reports are a tool that the department uses to reach out to many students each semester. The reports are sent out the fourth week of the semester to professors. One report is sent out for each class that the selected students are enrolled in. The reports cover attendance information, if the student is struggling and if they need academic assistance. 

“The purpose of the progress reports is to be a proactive form of outreach. This semester we had a 70% response rate from professors and that is incredibly successful. The highest percentage we have had with the reports was 72.7%,” McLeer said.

Once the reports come back to ASP, success coaches take over. They reach out to students and set up meetings to help the students with anything academically. 

Success coaches work with students one-on-one. They help students with notes, time management and ways students can improve. Success coaches are available for any student at any point in their college career. They can help with anything from accountability to motivation and goal setting. 

Tutoring and Writing Help Open to all Students

ASP also oversees Tutoring and Writing Center services for all students. The Writing Center is free to use, and appointments are one-on-one with experienced writers who can help at any point during the writing process. They can also help with almost anything writing related. 

“The Writing Center can also help with resumes, but students who are making big changes or even students who are making one for the first time should seek help from the Career and Professional Development Office,” Assistant Director of Academic Support and Coordinator for the Writing and Tutoring Centers Kathryn Weller stated.

The Tutoring Center currently has about 40 student employees. The Tutoring Center offers a wide range of subjects that students can receive help on.

“Physical space and budget are really the only limits that tutoring has. If a student needs help in a course that we currently aren’t offering a tutor, there is a form they can fill out. I can’t make guarantees on anything, but we try to help everyone,” Weller stated. 

Students looking to make an appointment with a tutor should do so through the Navigate app. In the app, students can select the subject and duration for the appointment. Navigate will then ask for the student to pick what course they need help in and will then give a list of available dates and times. The app will also let a student choose a specific tutor. 

Tutoring sessions are available in-person or over zoom. In-person sessions are held on the first floor of Karrmann. There are three different sections A, B or C and when a student makes an appointment, Navigate will tell them which section they are in. 

Students who are looking to become a tutor for a class they have previously taken or a class they are currently enrolled in must have a B+ or better to be considered. If that requirement is met, they can fill out the form on Academic Support Programs SharePoint.