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How to Ask for Help

Who Can You Talk To?

students working in a lab
If you have course content questions, talk to...
  • Your professor
  • Peer assistants in class or at help sessions
  • Your peers
If you want to form a study group, talk to...
  • Your peers first
  • You can also talk to a peer assistant or professor, who may know others looking to form a study group
If you have questions about a lab, talk to...
  • Your lab instructor(s)
  • The student lab teaching assistant (if there is one)
If you are struggling with time management strategies, talk to...
  • Your student academic mentor (SAM)

    SAMs provide general academic advice, and students are encouraged to seek out SAMs in their residence halls, and/or to seek out SAMs who share their academic interests (advertised on the SAM homepage). The majors of SAMs are announced for their drop-in hours. Usually, more than half of SAMs are STEM majors, and some also work as peer assistants.
  • Your dean (Student Affairs Division homepage)
  • Any faculty mentor (i.e., Richard Rubin Mentors)
If you're struggling with course content, and have already utilized office hours and help sessions, consider...
  • Asking your professor for advice on what to do
  • Talking to an academic advisor, or with an academic support coordinator in a department that has one
  • Getting a tutor
How do I get a tutor?
  • One-on-one tutoring isn’t just for students who are performing poorly in the class. It’s also for students who might benefit from more one-on-one attention and practice for their learning style.
  • However, make sure you have utilized the other opportunities to get help first, such as going to office hours and peer-led study sessions.
  • If you are considering getting a tutor, the first step should be talking to your professor. They can help match you with a tutor best suited to your needs. If the professor is involved, they can also give course resources to the tutor so they better understand what content you are working on.
  • If you are nervous, talk to a peer assistant or a SAM first. They can help you find ways to better approach the conversation.
  • After discussing with your professor, contact the current administrative assistant to the Dean of Students (currently Mira Baric) for the official tutoring form. Tell her if you have a preference for a tutor, or if your professor has any recommendation.
  • Some departments have additional academic support coordinators that can help you get a tutor assignment. For example, in mathematics, Danielle Ledford can help set this up with you.
  • Mira Baric will connect you with your tutor via email. It is then up to you both to find a mutually convenient time to meet (up to 10 hours total per semester).
  • If you and your tutor don't seem like a good match, feel free to request another. While all tutors have strengths, someone with a different teaching style might be a better fit for you.
If you have ongoing issues with focus and time management, talk to...
If you have sudden extraordinary circumstances (family emergency, physical or mental illness, etc.), talk to...
If you would like major/minor advice or to learn about student experiences, talk to...
  • Peer assistants for your courses
  • More experienced students in your department
  • Your peers
If you want to know about major/minor requirements and fit, talk to...
  • Your professors
  • You academic advisor (if they are in the discipline)
  • The department chair
If you are contemplating what course load to take on, talk to...
  • A professor in the department first. They will have advice, especially when considering how many STEM classes and labs to take at once. They can help you prioritize classes and plan out semesters based on department specific requirements and expectations.
  • Academic advisors and SAMs can give general advice, but won't necessarily know the specifics for planning out the requirements for minors and majors.
  • Gigi Simeone (Health Sciences/Pre-Law advisor) for planning out pre-med requirements.
If you have questions about research projects, talk to...