Major: Psychology
Hometown: Chico, CA

Year: Senior

While there are practically limitless ways in which Fort Lewis College is a special place, I have been particularly impressed with how committed Fort Lewis is in ensuring academic resources are abundant. Whether you need help with your advanced differential equations class or you’re trying to unravel what Kant’s categorical imperative is really all about, there are plentiful avenues for academic assistance. And the best part: they’re all totally free!

In Jones Hall, we have what’s called the Academic Success Center. This room features three unique tutoring services that are incredibly useful and, in my opinion, should be used by all students. This room features the Algebra Alcove, the Tutoring Center, and the Writing Center. The Algebra Alcove is a tutoring and help center for students in math classes up to pre-calculus. There is always math faculty on staff as well as expert student mathematicians eager to help. Whether you’re struggling to grasp mathematical concepts or you simply want a place to have an expert check your work, the Algebra Alcove is a great tool to ensure that you’re getting the best grade you can.

The Tutoring Center is a unique resource that’s a bit different from ordinary tutoring resources. Instead of the typical drop-in style tutoring center, I like to think of the Tutoring Center as an academic matchmaking service. When you’re taking any lower division class (a course at the 100 or 200 level), the Tutoring Center has expert student tutors in particular disciplines that will work with you, no matter what class you’re taking. For example, if you’re taking a cellular and molecular biology class and would like a little extra help with learning the stages of meiosis, all you have to do is stop by the Tutoring Center and they’ll pair you up with a biology major who has already taken the class and is an expert in that topic. As long as the class isn’t a mathematics or composition course, the Tutoring Center will pair you up with a demonstrated student expert for as much help as you’d like.

The Writing Center, for which I’ve been a tutor for two years, is a service for all types of writing assignments and students of all writing abilities. The Liberal Arts model at Fort Lewis College places great emphasis on the importance of writing. Since you will be required to write for many of your classes, the Writing Center does not restrict itself to composition and English classes. In my time at the Writing Center, I’ve seen everything from philosophy essays, mechanical engineering papers, and even Honors Theses. No matter what they’re writing about or how much writing experience they’ve had, students come out of the Writing Center with insightful and helpful ideas for improvement. Students can make an appointment or drop in if there’s not already an appointment, and they get one-on-one help with any part of the writing process. Some students come in to make sure that their final draft is polished; some come in having not started their paper to brainstorm topics. No matter what a student may need help with for their writing assignments, the Writing Center is a fantastic tool to get some extra advice for their written assignments.

We also have the Math Assistance Center (the “MAC”) in Berndt Hall for math help beyond pre-calculus. The MAC is also staffed with faculty and expert students always willing to help and to make sure you’re firmly grasping some of those more advanced mathematical concepts. There’s also STEM3, an organization involved with students in majors tied with mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. This center, like others, has specialized tutors who are experts in these fields to help with all STEM-oriented work.

Fort Lewis’ cultural centers also feature academic resources. El Centro, our Hispanic-serving cultural center offers Spanish tutoring. The Native American Center, for students of American and Alaskan Native backgrounds, has specialized one-on-one tutoring services for classes of all disciplines. PAA, Fort Lewis College’s Program for Academic Advancement, is an academic center for first generation college students, with disabilities, or from financially challenged backgrounds. PAA has a full time staff and several professional and student tutors all eager to help with any academic needs.

Fort Lewis places great emphasis on ensuring that students of all disciplines and abilities have plentiful resources for academic success. These resources are always completely free to use, and all tutors are achieving or already have peer-tutoring certification, so you know you’re learning from the best. At Fort Lewis, your courses will challenge you, and that’s a simple guarantee. However you choose to study, taking full advantage of our academic assistance resources is a fantastic way to ensure academic success.