Students begin Yale College with a wide range of educational experiences that affect how they engage and learn in their courses. The Academic Strategies Program is designed to share knowledge with students about the mindsets, techniques and practices that can best help Yale students find satisfaction in their learning and ownership in their educational choices. To help students learn about our services, invite an Academic Strategies Peer Mentor to offer a 2-minute presentation at the beginning or end of your class: Academic Strategies Classroom Visit Request.
Each Academic Strategies workshop offers both metacognitive and practical approaches to students’ academic work. Led by junior and senior Yale College students, these workshops address common academic challenges for many Yale students, including managing their time, cultivating faculty mentorship, learning effective strategies for lectures, seminars, and exams, managing a heavy reading load, and creating plans for a senior thesis. A list of upcoming workshops is available here: https://orgsync.com/162209/events?view=upcoming
Our Academic Strategies Mentors offer individual peer consultations to help students develop approaches to their academic work tailored to their specific strengths, needs, and challenges. Students often use these meetings to plan their work in busy periods of the semester, such as midterms and finals, or to get advice on new approaches to their work for particularly challenging courses. Students can set up mentoring appointments through this online schedule: https://yalectl.mywconline.com/index.php?msgLOG=YES
How Faculty Can Support Students’ Academic Efforts
1) Normalize asking for help
Last year, 51% of Yale College students attended academic support programming. This programming includes course-based peer tutoring, Science & QR tutoring, writing tutoring, and Academic Strategies workshops and mentoring. These services are not remedial; instead, they offer students opportunities to reflect critically on their own academic practices and find information and support as they develop new ways of approaching the challenging work Yale classes require. You can help by advertising these services broadly in your class lectures and discussions, and providing information about these services in your syllabus and on your Canvas site. General information about these services can be found here: https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/tutoring.
2) As a group, ask your students to tell you about their previous experience with your course’s topic/discipline
Understanding what students know and don’t know about the course topic can help you fill in gaps and make explicit connections that can help all students better understand the content and frameworks in your course.
3) Practice inclusive teaching strategies
Inclusive teaching strategies can benefit all students by creating multiple points of access to the topic and encouraging all students to contribute to the academic conversation fostered in your course. For more information about inclusive teaching practices, visit the Poorvu Center’s Faculty Resources page: https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/FacultyResources/Diversity-Inclusion.
Other Ways to Contribute
Want to work directly with students participating in Academic Strategies programming and/or the First-Generation/Low-Income (FGLI) Community Initiative (co-sponsored by the Yale College Dean’s Office and the CTL)? Occasionally Academic Strategies and the FGLI Community Initiative host one-off events where faculty participation can help students further develop and practice the strategies they’ve learned through our programming. If you would like an invitation to these occasional events, please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/Da0sDBHFlRlnEtJJ3
Questions? Contact Karin Gosselink, Ph.D., Director, Academic Strategies Program: firstname.lastname@example.org.