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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 tutoring and supplemental academic services for hundreds of students a year. As the sole comprehensive academic support center on campus, thousands of students log approximately 11,000 visits to one of our seven programs on an annual basis.
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.
1. Include information about the SCAA and its services in your syllabus, on Blackboard, and in your class announcements.
Essential information includes our hours, our location in the upper mall of the library, and our contact information such as our phone number, website, etc. Boiler plate language that you can add to your syllabus is available at the bottom of this page.
2. Invite the SCAA into your classroom.
The SCAA also has two in-class presentation options:
- An Ambassador Appearance (5-10 minutes): This is a quick, 5-10 minute appearance of the SCAA tutor, SI Leader, or receptionist who will introduce themselves to your class, describe the role they take at the SCAA, and offer their personal experiences working at the SCAA. The Ambassador is a great way for our students to meet a SCAA tutor, SI Leader, or receptionist and see them as peers to demystify the experience at SCAA. Students will receive literature containing information about the SCAA.
- A SCAA Services Overview and Presentation (30 minutes): This is a thorough overview of SCAA’s services conducted by the SCAA Director and other administrative staff members. This presentation will go in detail about all of SCAA’s program offerings. Students may ask questions about each of the services. Students will receive literature containing information about the SCAA.
You can request an in-class presentation using this form.
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, 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 help all students at CSUEB achieve and maintain academic excellence. 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 going to SCAA and do not shame students in going/not going to the SCAA. Consider asking a student in your course who has used SCAA’s services to provide a testimonial to 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. Consider integrating our materials into your lesson plans.
The SCAA has many tutor-made writing, math, and statistics handouts that are designed to be student friendly and approach the most commonly asked topics at the SCAA. These handouts are available on our website and can be used to supplement your coursework. Additionally, you may request copies of our informational literature (pamphlets about our services, etc.) by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Recommend students to become SCAA tutors, Writing Associates (WA), and Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders.
Our tutors, WAs, and SI Leaders are essential to the success of our organization. Accordingly, we have a rigorous selection process and expect our employees to complete intensive training. We deeply value the input of our faculty members in selecting the best peer tutors, WAs, and SI Leaders. Your expertise and participation is greatly appreciated. If you would like to nominate a student who exhibits a passion for helping fellow students and a strong grasp of course content to be a SCAA tutor, please fill out this form.
Additionally, you may elect to provide incentives for SCAA visits, such as extra credit. Proof of visit sheets are available at the SCAA. 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.
Sample Language for your Syllabus
"Since academic support and tutoring are an important part of a college education, CSUEB’s Student Center for Academic Achievement (SCAA) provides free tutoring and supplemental instruction for students at any stage of their coursework. From brainstorming a paper to getting assistance on a calculus problem and much more, the SCAA can assist you in becoming more confident in your learning.
Tutors and SI Leaders at the SCAA take a similar approach as they discuss strategies and resources you can use while you write your paper or work on a math problem. They do not exclusively proofread, edit your work, or do the problems for you.
I would highly encourage you to take advantage of [insert name and description of program here].
To learn more information about the SCAA, please visit http://www.csueastbay.edu/scaa or visit them in the upper mall of the library."