A cozy and bright office with comfy, cool furniture awaits the brave-hearted learner. The ASSIST Center, staffed by Merrie-Beth Cleary and Susan Kenny, is the place to be for students who want to do their best at Tabor academically.
Nina Sasakawa ’20 is among the many students who utilize the ASSIST center. “I started going to ASSIST this year, mainly for my history and English essays. My teacher recommended it to me to improve my writing skills. The first time I went to the ASSIST Center I was scared because I did not know the teachers very well, but Mrs. Cleary knew my name and welcomed me with energy and a smile which made me feel comfortable fairly quickly. She really helped me dive into the task I was doing. Soon I began to feel more comfortable and confident about my essays.”
Collaborating with faculty and backing up our peer-tutor system, ASSIST is ready to help with organization, listening and note-taking skills, editing thoughts on that final paper or college essay, or even proven ways to remember those pesky things you need to get done! Their individual approach to academic support is what makes their methods so successful.
Merrie-Beth Cleary, Director of the ASSIST Center, said, “We help students with all sorts of different issues from organization to study skills that help them do their best. My colleague, Sue Kenny, and I enjoy the one on one relationships we build with each student and strive to instill better habits that deliver real value to them. Sometimes helping students advocate for themselves or sharing just a little encouragement is all that is needed to improve performance and lower the stress of getting through a tough patch in a particular subject.”
Peer tutors help to expand the reach of the ASSIST Center through their volunteer effort. Cleary calls them their “heros.” She commented, “We have a few peer tutors who are volunteering between 3-4 hours on a weekly basis to help their fellow classmates in specific content areas. It is a testament to their character how they've prioritized helping others in our community.”
Students seeking help simply fill out a request form, and one of the peer tutor coordinators matches them with a peer tutor specializing in the subject area required. Connor Tobin ’20 said, “Riley Suh ’20, Gabby Bao ’20 and I, match students up and set a date for the peer tutor and student to meet. It is great knowing that I can bring people together and contribute to a community where everyone is supported by their fellow students.”
ASSIST stands for Academic Success Strategies through Inquiry, Self-Advocacy, and Technologies. The point is to empower students to take the reins of their learning and begin to identify the strategies that help them learn. The staff is friendly and patient and they know their stuff! Professionally qualified to manage students with formal learning plans and those who want to make the most of their learning, our ASSIST staff and peer tutors stand ready to make a difference at Tabor.