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Subtle changes begin at Academic Support Centers

By Natasha L. Hollerup
On September 29, 2011

Learning how to navigate college can be very frustrating for first year students, and finding the right academic resources is the hardest. At MATC, the Academic Support Centers within all four campuses is the place to go when a student needs to get academic assistance.

The Milwaukee Campus hosts different centers for five different services: writing, math, science, communications (for business majors) and computer production (for computer related majors), as well as tutoring services that provides one on one tutoring, study groups and distance tutoring. Jonathan Feld, the newly minted Manager of Academic Support sees to that.

Feld, who was hired in July to oversee all of the Academic Support centers, hasn't made many changes to the original Academic Support formula yet but he states, "I felt that the more important gaps to address were connectivity, access, and branding.  Once students find Academic Support and come to understand the services that they can receive, their experience is typically great. It's connecting to Academic Support and knowing what to expect before they walk in that I am working to change."

"I've started with simple changes this semester – changing when information about Academic Support is sent to students, connecting more classes to Academic Support by linking more faculties with ASC staff, etc. – and plan to increase the marketing efforts of ASC in future semesters."

Connectivity and branding has been enhanced for Academic Support. It is very likely that students have seen flyers that availability and offerings for each center throughout each campus.

This is only the beginning of Feld's plans for the future when it comes to education and his Academic Support Centers, especially when it comes to technology.

"Education is already technology heavy and will only become more so. "In addition to branding and marketing, much of my effort willarget not to what assistance is delivered but how it is delivered. Expansion into the virtual world is critical and I am working to build digital academic assistance options which will, as close as possible, mimic traditional face-to-face experiences."

For the students who are having a hard time with their classes but are afraid to get the help they need, Feld has some parting advice. "Get connected with Academic Support as early as possible.  If you are at all feeling overwhelmed in class or thinks that you might just need a little extra to understand a concept, stop in and talks with the staff. There are seven Academic Support Centers across 4 campuses not to mention Tutoring Services, specialty labs, and the libraries. Don't wait to get help – we're here for you!"


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