Concordia’s post-traditional online students have the ARC (Academic Resource Center) in their corner!

By Jonathon Cain, CUW Admissions

Higher Education has been changing with warp speed in recent years and for many adult learners returning to finish degrees or starting fresh in this brave new world of technology and new learning formats can be a bit daunting. At Concordia University, we understand that the journey of learning is unique for each student, especially for those who are juggling multiple responsibilities such as careers, families, and community commitments. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is available to all students, including post-traditional students with busy work and family schedules!

The ARC provides assistance through Peer Academic Coaching, the Online Writing Lab, the Math Drop-In Desk and the TutorMe link found on the student portal page. Elizabeth Kirk, an Academic Support Specialist in the ARC encourages adult learners to make use of these services and reminds students that self-advocacy is critical for student success:

“You truly can overcome whatever academic challenges you will face as you continue moving forward and seek help from those around you.”

Elizabeth Kirk, M.S.

This message of self-advocacy is echoed by Concordia’s Academic & Career Advisors, such as Elyse Parks, who works with the post-traditional students earning degrees through Concordia’s accelerated programs. Parks states, “Typically when a student needs additional assistance with a class, I first tell them to contact their instructor and request a phone or zoom meeting. It is easier to talk through all of their questions by phone or Zoom, rather than email.” This is a common suggestion for all students.

Parks continues: “Secondly, I tell them to work with a tutor through the Academic Resource Center and I provide the contact information, but students can find all of this information by scrolling down on the left column of their student portal page.  And lastly, I advise them to use TutorMe through Blackboard.  TutorMe is available at any time and is more convenient for our adult students who study late at night.”

Making it personal

For those students looking for more personalized help, individual tutoring sessions can be arranged through the ARC. Andy Lopez works with students in a variety of classes and states that the most common requests from students involve proofreading, editing, planning papers, and setting up PowerPoints. He reminds students, though, “when reaching out, it is always a good idea for students to reach out early and to do so within a couple sessions or the week before a challenging class starts, so things don’t snowball.”

Elizabeth Kirk also highly recommends the use of the Online Writing Lab (OWL). By sending written essays for review, the OWL provides feedback at any stage of the writing process. The OWL receives your essays electronically, reads through the work, adds questions and comments, and returns the essay within 3-5 working days.

Finally, many adult learners returning to academic coursework may need extra assistance as conditionally admitted students with previous grades in college coursework below full acceptance for their program of choice. The ARC offers the Prosper Program as a semester-long workshop program designed for conditionally admitted, accelerated students attending CUW online. The purpose of this program is to acquaint students with CUW, connect them to valuable resources, empower them through skill-building workshops and equip them for educational success. Prosper workshops and materials are designed to acquaint students with CUW’s online platforms (CUW Portal, Blackboard, Outlook, Concordia Central, Academic Resource Center services, Counseling Center, etc.), as well as teach students valuable skills involving time management, healthy study/lifestyle habits and self-advocacy.

Whatever concerns or anxiety Concordia’s post-traditional students may encounter, help is always available from the ARC and there is comfort in knowing that students are not alone. By communicating with Academic & Career advisors, instructors, and friends in the ARC earning a degree is certainly within reach!

CUWAA’s Adult Accelerated Online classes are offered year-round, with students beginning courses in two eight-week mini-terms during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Take action and connect with Concordia University’s accelerated programs by visiting CUWAA Accelerated Admissions or calling 262-243-4300.

Jonathon Cain is an Admission Counselor, Adult-Accelerated for Concordia University Wisconsin.

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