Hodges University

International College Enhances Academic Achievement Services to Meet Student Demand

International College has enhanced its Academic Achievement Services in response to growing student demand.

International College first launched its Academic Achievement Services (AAS) 18 months ago during the Summer 2001 term to replace its Tutor Assistance Program. The goal of the AAS, at the time, was to provide immediate academic assistance and to promote skills growth to any undergraduate student at the College.

But as enrollment at International College has increased and academic diversity among nontraditional students broadens, College officials have enhanced AAS services once more to fill the need.

In response to growing demand for services, the college established a permanent site for AAS at the Naples and Fort Myers campus, hired a student assistant to help with day-to-day operations, implemented virtual tutoring, improved and enhanced the AAS web page on the College’s web site, modified the academic assistance request procedure, and started a database that allows for AAS student tracking.

Scott Kemp, Ph.D., Academic Achievement Services Coordinator, said the goal of the program is twofold: to stress achievement and to maintain student retention at the college by giving students the support they need in order to be successful.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that only 52 percent of all students who enroll at colleges and universities in the United States actually complete their degree. Around the country, colleges are taking steps to help retain their students.

“Research shows that the more a college does to accommodate students by providing academic support, the more successful students will be at school and will be willing to stay,” Kemp said. “Academic Achievement Services is there to help fill the gap and get them on the road toward success.”

In addition to English and Math skills, AAS tutors also provide help with time management, effective textbook reading, listening and note-taking, memory and test strategies, research preparation, and finals planning. Tutoring is provided four days a week at the Naples campus and six days a week at the Fort Myers campus. The service is free for all undergraduate students. A total of 54 students are being tutored at both campuses this Fall.

Daniel Gersbach, 29, a management major, said AAS has been able to help him polish English and grammar skills, which he was unable to fix his own.

“In spite of the fact that I took four other English classes in college elsewhere, I found I was still frustrated,” recalls the Bonita Springs resident whose been out of college for three years. “Now, with tutoring, I feel great. I have a real sense of accomplishment.”

Kemp is particularly excited about the tracking database, which not only monitors student use, but also determines types of services used by students, the number of sessions per student, and skill areas students need help in. This tool will help officials better understand the root of student challenges, Kemp added.

The bottom line, Kemp said, is that AAS wants students to succeed.

“What AAS enables students to do is get involved in the college community,” he said. “The resources will help them feel connected and be successful.”
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