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.

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, and Supplemental Instruction (SI) study groups. More information is available at https://www.csueastbay.edu/scaa/types-of-tutoring/index.html. The SCAA is located on the Third Floor of the CORE Building. For more information visit http://www.csueastbay.edu/scaa or contact SCAA@csueastbay.edu."

Five Common Partnerships


1. Include information about the SCAA and its services in your syllabus, on Blackboard or Canvas, and in your class announcements.

Essential information includes our 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 bottom of this webpage.

 

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 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. 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. 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.