After-hours academia

University Success offers free academic, career and life-skills assistance after-hours when other programs, like Student Health and Counseling and the Tutoring and Learning Center, are closed.

University Success offers free academic, career and life-skills assistance after-hours when other programs, like Student Health and Counseling and the Tutoring and Learning Center, are closed.

“[It’s] an after-hours academic support program,” said Kari Meiser, graduate assistant for University Success and master’s student in the School of Social Work.

University Success aims to “teach the skills and strategies to help students become independent and active learners and to achieve academic success,” according to literature put out by the program.

It began in fall 2008, is modeled on similar programs at the University of Connecticut, Indiana University and Stanford, all of which “have pretty successful programs,” Meiser said.

Although University Success works with students at every level of study from freshman to senior, its services are geared toward first-year students who need assistance “to successfully transition into academic life at Portland State University,” according to the literature.

To best serve first-year students, University Success is located in room 204 of the Ondine Housing Building, a particularly convenient location for freshmen.

According to Meiser, University Success “offer[s] three tiers of service.”

The first tier is a study lounge, open from 5–10 p.m. on Sundays and from 2–10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. In addition to using study space, students can receive help with things like time management and editing papers, Meiser said.

The second tier of support that University Success provides comes in the form of weekly services.

On Sundays, Meiser said, drop-in tutoring is provided by two tutors who cover English as a Second Language, Spanish, writing, linguistics, basic math and physics.

On Monday students have access to conflict resolution services from the Student Center for Dispute Resolution on a drop-in basis from 6–10 p.m.

According to the SCDR website, its mediators are second year graduate students from the Conflict Resolution Masters program who help settle “interpersonal disputes between two or more students” such as “between classmates, roommates, hallmates, boyfriends/girlfriends, domestic partners (both current and ex), and others,” according to its website.

On Tuesdays, by appointment, students can get after-hours academic advising from the staff of the Undergraduate Advising and Support Center. UASC staff “help students with questions about general education, degree and university requirements, and…provide advice to students who are struggling academically or need assistance with choosing a major,” according to its website.

On Wednesdays students can drop in for “Let’s Talk,” a casual venue for students to receive help from SHAC counselors, Meiser said.

“Let’s Talk” also benefits students who need immediate professional help, as it can be difficult to see a counselor at SHAC on short notice, Meiser said.

In addition to tutoring and a study lounge, Meiser said that University Success offers a series of workshops as its third tier of support, every term on Tuesdays at 6 p.m.

The workshops cover a myriad of topics from “How to Choose a Major and Career” and “Filing your FAFSA” to meditation and self-defense.

Today, University Success is hosting a workshop titled “Navigating Financial Aid.” Next week’s workshop is “Budgeting Your Benjamins.”

Interested students can also consult University Success’ Facebook page to see a more detailed list of workshops.

During fall and winter, University Success offered academic coaching as one of its weekly services, but due to the low number of students utilizing it, they have since halted the program, Meiser said.

“We’re hoping to roll out a different model of that next fall,” she said.

According to Meiser, University Success will send out a survey later this spring asking students about their experience with University Success and what they would like to see added or changed in the program.

For more information, interested students can go to Ondine 204 or email University Success at [email protected]