OWL Talks

Top tips! Ensure you have the support you need to succeed in college.

Posted by Kelly Hart on Mar 7, 2019 2:02:00 PM
Kelly Hart

We get it. College isn’t easy. And if you’re a student struggling with a learning disability or are the first one in your family to be enrolled in a university, just picking out your courses can seem like an uphill battle. But at Westfield State, students can find help all over campus. Let us show you how to ensure you have the support you need.

For some students, help can come well before freshmen year of college. The Urban Education program is a five-week summer program that is open to first-generation students.

“It’s the full freshmen experience,” says Maureen McCartney, the Associate Dean of Academic Achievement.

The program is aimed at preparing students for the year ahead. On-campus housing is provided Sunday through Thursday nights, as well as academic and career counseling and free college courses for credit. It’s a time where students can focus on building friendships, developing leadership skills and establishing an academic support system that will follow them for all four years at Westfield. Discover more information about the Urban Education program and how high school seniors can apply.

For some students, learning disabilities can hold them back from reaching their academic goals. In that case, the Banacos Academic Center can help. At the Banacos Center, students are given specific program advisors to meet with on a regular basis. 

Banacos Center at Westfield

“They develop strategies for managing course load, explain how to use a syllabus, and help connect students with a faculty advisor,” says McCartney.

Perhaps the most valuable help that the Center can provide is putting in place any unique accommodations students need in the classroom, like extra exam time or a note taker during lectures. You can find out how to apply for assistance at the Banacos Center here.

But it’s not just students with special circumstances that Westfield State wants to help. Any student enrolled in a class at Westfield can visit the Banacos Center and find a peer tutor or sign up for one of their many academic-improvement workshops.

There’s also TRIO Student Services Support Program. TRIO is a federally funded program that helps disabled, first-generation and low-income students through personal and academic counseling. They offer intensive support that goes beyond just the Westfield faculty. Students will work with a personal counselor to determine their strengths and weaknesses and any obstacles that might prevent them from succeeding in school. They also offer tutoring and peer support programs that can help students connect with other classmates. 

No matter what challenge you might be facing, Westfield State has the programs and the resources to help you overcome anything and reach your full potential. Here, every student has the chance to succeed.

Topics: Getting the most out of your college experience

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