Academic Support and Student Disability Services

A. Learning Resources and Student Academic Mentors (SAMs)

Student Academic Mentors (SAMs) are upper-class students specially selected and trained to help students develop and sustain effective learning skills. Each SAM is assigned to a residential hall, and mentors a small number of students individually. SAMs also offer workshops throughout the year on academic skills; these workshops are open to all students. SAMs provide specific information on time management, reading, note-taking, test-taking, course selection, and accessing resources as well as encouragement and general advice. First-year students in particular are urged to work with a mentor, but any upper-class student may request a SAM as well. SAMs are available for informal or emergency consultation at any time to any student. The SAM program is supervised by Leslie Hempling, Coordinator of Learning Resources and Student Disability Services, and Melissa Mandos, Fellowships and Prizes Advisor.

Leslie Hempling also works one-on-one with students who need extra attention. She works intensively to help those students better understand the processes and practicalities of learning in our college environment. Contact: Melissa Mandos, mmandos1@swarthmore.edu or x8363.

B. Writing Center and Writing Associates (WAs)

A drop-in Writing Center, located in Trotter 120, is open starting the third week of classes from 1–5 p.m. and 7–11 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday) to assist students in any phase of the writing process. The Writing Associates (WAs) who staff the Center are also assigned to work with selected courses, particularly introductory-level courses, as well as individual students. For further information, check out the Writing Program Website, or contact Jill Gladstein, jgladst1@swarthmore.edu or x8145.

C. Student Disability Service

The Coordinator of Learning Resources and Student Disability Service, Leslie Hempling, advises students about the College's policy, procedures and resources. She oversees College compliance with agreed upon, reasonable accommodations and assists in the day-to-day provision of supports and accommodations for the academic needs of individual students. There is a deadline of one week past Drop/Add for students whose documentation is on file to request academic accommodations.

A person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities. An eligible student is one who otherwise meets the academic and technical standards necessary for admission into a program or participation in a course.

Reasonable accommodations refer to modifications necessary for students with disabilities to provide equal access to college programs and activities. An accommodation is not deemed reasonable if it fundamentally alters an essential element of an academic standard or program. Reasonable accommodations may include elimination of physical barriers, when possible, as well as the following academic accommodations when appropriate: calculator use, tape recorder/notetaker, extended time on in-class exams, computer use, assistive technology, audiobooks.

Any student needing accommodations for a disability should contact Leslie Hempling in the Office of Student Disability Service, located in Parrish 130, or e-mail lhempli1@swarthmore.edu to set up an appointment to discuss needs and the process for requesting accommodations. Leslie is responsible for reviewing and approving disability-related accommodation requests and, as appropriate, will issue students with documented disabilities an Accommodation Authorization Letter. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact her as soon as possible. For details about Student Disabilities Service and the accommodations process, visit the Student Disability Services Website.

D. Other Peer Academic Support Groups

Please be aware that in addition to SAMs and WAs, there are other peer academic support groups. In particular, there are Science Associates (SAs), Wizards and Ninjas who support students in Biology, Computer Science, and Engineering. Students having difficulty in these disciplines should certainly be directed to these students and to the study sessions run by them. Check with the individual departments for more information.

E. Workshops

The Office of Academic Affairs offers a range of workshops to students about itme management, addressing procrastination, studying sciences in college, (so very different than high school!), participating in classes, and reading in college. Look for the schedule online, or contact Dean Liz Derickson at ederick1@swarthmore.edu for more information.

F. Study Group Meetings or Departmental Clinics

Seven departments, mostly in the Natural Sciences, offer supplementary clinics to assist students. Staffed by students advanced in the discipline, the clinics are open from two to five evenings a week. Information on clinics is distributed in the introductory courses, but clinics are also available to students in upper level courses as well. For further information, contact:

G.. Tutors

Through the Dean's Office, individual tutors are available to students in almost all disciplines, at no cost to the student. Students should use clinics, when available, before seeking an individual tutor; students should also consult the course instructor before asking for a tutor. Ruthanne Krauss (x8367), Administrative Assistant to Associate Dean Diane Anderson, coordinates tutoring assistance. She will enlist the faculty's help in generating a list of students who are available for individual tutoring needs. Contact: Ruthanne Krauss, rkrauss1@swarthmore.edu or x8367.

H. Severe Problems

In the course of advising, you may realize that your advisee needs more help, academic or otherwise, than you are in a position to provide. In that case, we urge you to bring the matter to the attention of someone connected with the Dean's Office, such as Karen Henry, first-year class dean. In some cases contact with Worth Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, or the Financial Aid Office may be appropriate. A member of the Dean's Office can help advise you about available resources on (and off) campus.