Excel centers offer services to help students succeed during finals week

The Science Center offers students help with their questions and concerns.
Austin Chasse | The Scribe
Dec. 7, 2015

Hannah Harvey
[email protected]

Students can make flashcards to help them memorize terms a week before a final, but it’s nearly impossible to use this method to develop good study habits. This is where the excel centers come in to help.

The five excel centers serve students of all years and majors to help them succeed throughout the semester. These include the communication, writing, science, languages & social sciences, and math centers.

But these resources can become busy in the weeks leading up to and during finals.

Use of the excel centers depends on the student, according to Kacey Ross, director of the Writing Center.

“We’re solidly booked most of the time. A lot of students use the center, but that depends on if they’re a freshman or a sophomore and what kind of classes they’re taking” said Ross.

Junior biomedical science major India Walden finds the excel centers to be useful throughout the semester.

“It gives you the opportunity to talk to people who excel in those classes,” she said.

In the spring semester, 989 students used the Writing Center. Ross adds that the majority of students who utilize the center’s services are non-English majors.

The Writing Center offers one-on-one consultations between a student and another student that has been trained to offer peer feedback on a piece of writing that a student may be struggling with.

Students who visit the Science Center tend to perform better than those who do not, according to Jerry Phillips, director of the Science Center.

“There are regulars who are here everyday, multiple times a day, or week. Either students come in and become regular users or they don’t. If they don’t, they generally don’t do as well in their coursework”, said Phillips.

The Science Center provides free, drop-in tutoring, in addition to Extra Instruction Sessions that help students develop critical thinking skills in their chemistry, physics and biology classes.

Erica Allgood, director of the Communication Center, said her excel center is a resource for students who want repeat services that include, but are not limited to, enhancement of presentation skills, interview practice and visual aid assistance.

As far as special services offered during finals, this depends on which center a student goes to for assistance. For instance, the Science Center does not offer special services during finals, but Phillips said the center maintains their usual services.

The Writing Center also maintains their usual services leading up to and during finals week. But they also provide special stress relief services and writing tips from a writing guru during dead week, which starts Dec. 7.

The writing guru differs from the one-on-one consultations in that the guru provides quick tips as opposed to an hour long session, according to Ross.

The excel centers can also be used for unwinding before or after a difficult test.

“This is a good place to come even if you don’t need help”, said Phillips in regards to the Science Center.

The excel centers have study areas and open computers for students to sit down, do their assignments or meet new people.

Ross, Phillips and Allgood advise students to start preparing for finals early on, a principle that applies to a final in any course. Phillips adds that collaborative learning can be very beneficial to retain information.

“Students working together have a chance to learn from each other,” said Phillips.

Excel Center Contact Info

Communication Center
Columbine Hall 312

Languages & Social Sciences Center
Dwire Hall 265

Mathematics Center
Engineering 233

Science Center
Centennial Hall 204

Writing Center
Columbine Hall 316