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Working with the SCAA
Since 2001, the Student Center for Academic Achievement (SCAA) at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) has provided content tutoring for writing across the curriculum, and for a number of math, statistics, and science courses. Additionally, the SCAA offers embedded, collaborative support through its Writing Associates and Supplemental Instruction (SI) programs. In 2023, the SCAA became the home of the Peer Academic Coaching Program.
The SCAA’s history is deeply rooted in faculty involvement and support – the SCAA began as a faculty-driven and written proposal in 1999. Years later, more than a third of students cite their professors as the primary reason they found out about the SCAA. Accordingly, the SCAA is committed to support the CSUEB mission and the needs of students and faculty. We strive to maintain a collegial and reciprocal relationship with faculty and other programs to help identify strategies and services that promote student success.
We invite faculty to visit or to develop course activities that introduce students to the SCAA programs. Faculty feedback about and promotion of our services is essential to the SCAA’s success. Here are some tips on how to integrate our services into your syllabus and help your students maximize our academic support services.
Sample Language for your Syllabus
"The Student Center for Academic Achievement (SCAA) at CSUEB provides individualized support to assist you at any stage of your coursework. The SCAA strives to cultivate adaptability, self-direction, and self-confidence through peer-to-peer support programs, all offered at no additional cost to students. SCAA services can help you set achievable goals, develop academic skills, and improve subject comprehension.
Services include tutoring for an array of subjects (in-person and online), support for college-level writing, peer-to-peer academic skills coaching, and Supplemental Instruction (SI) study groups. The SCAA is located on the Third Floor of the CORE Building (Room 343). For more information visit www.csueastbay.edu/scaa or contact SCAA@csueastbay.edu."
1. Include information about the SCAA and its services in your syllabus, on Canvas, and in your class announcements.
Essential information includes our service hours, our location on the Third Floor of the CORE Building, and our contact information such as our phone number, website, etc. Sample syllabus language is available at the top of this webpage.
2. Invite the SCAA/Library into your classroom.
The SCAA has two presentation and workshop options:
- Ambassador Appearance/Resource Overview (10-15 minutes): This is a brief appearance in which ambassadors introduce themselves, describe the role they play within the Library/SCAA, and what services are available (handouts provided). The Ambassador Appearance is a great way for your students to see peer educators in a way that demystifies the need for help.
- SCAA Academic Skills Development Workshop (45-, 60-, or 75-minute durations): With the goal of increasing student persistence and self-regulation, the SCAA provides both scheduled and requested workshops for CSUEB students. Topics include (but are not limited to) time management, campus communication and resources, study skills, self-care, and writing skills.
You can request an in-class presentation or workshop here.
3. Ask students to reflect, develop questions, and prepare before they use one of SCAA’s services for help.
Almost all of our programs are premised on a peer-to-peer model—the tutor, coach, SI Leader, or Writing Associate will work with the student, but the student should be the primary driver of the support session. Preparation can be as simple as bringing their assignment instructions or flagging specific problems the student would like to work on. This helps the tutor make more informed choices about their suggestions.
4. Use positive language when describing the SCAA and consider using student testimonials.
Our mission is to provide CSUEB students with individual and collaborative learning opportunities within an inclusive environment fostering independent growth. The SCAA strives to cultivate adaptability, self-direction, and self-confidence through peer-to-peer support programs. SCAA services help students set achievable goals, develop academic skills, and improve subject comprehension.
Many excellent students who wish to maintain their standards are regular SCAA visitors. Negatively associating the SCAA as a place solely for struggling students or remediation can cause a stigma in using our services. Explain the benefits of utilizing the SCAA without shaming students for their choices to visit/not visit. Consider asking a student in your course who has used SCAA’s services to provide a testimonial for your class.
Language to Avoid:
- “The SCAA will fix your paper/assignment.”
- “The SCAA will teach remedial math/writing so that you can catch up in this course.”
- “If you fail, go to SCAA.”
- “Go to SCAA if you missed a class.”
5. Nominate/Recommend students to serve as SCAA tutors, coaches, Writing Associates (WA), Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders, and Receptionists.
The heart of the SCAA’s work is a dedicated staff of "peer" educators. Accordingly, we have a rigorous selection process and expect our employees to complete intensive training. Your input and participation in our hiring processes is greatly appreciated. Please use the SCAA Student Employment Nomination/Recommendation Form to nominate or recommend students for SCAA student employment opportunities.
6. Submit formalized referrals to SCAA services through The Bay Advisor.
Staff and faculty can "Issue an Alert" to notify the SCAA that a student may be in need of "Writing Tutoring" or "Subject Tutoring" or "Coaching" (3 alert reasons available). Once an alert is submitted, the SCAA Reception Team does outreach to the student in an effort to assist them in making an appointment. For more information please contact the SCAA Director, Rachel Brunson, or reference Bay Advisor resources available here.
Additionally, you may elect to provide incentives for SCAA visits, such as extra credit. We can provide appointment/visit verifications. Should you choose to require students to come to the SCAA, please consider the following to maximize the student’s visit:
- Develop pre- and post-tutoring or study session activities that students can participate in that will help them develop questions before they attend their first session, integrate the feedback they receive into their final assignments, etc.
- Communicate with the SCAA if we can anticipate a larger group of students or a larger volume of Online Writing Lab papers. This helps us plan staffing ahead of time. If you anticipate a large number of students coming to the SCAA at a particular time in the quarter, consider providing your assignments to our organization ahead of time. The assignment will not serve as a “check-list” of what the tutor should cover during the session - the content of sessions will vary according to the needs of the student. Rather, the assignment is a good starting place for a session and can help our tutors anticipate the style and genre of the assignment in your course and/or contextualize the student’s work.