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Looking ahead to finals

Hidden in plain sight

The Learning Center,

You don't have to look far to find help!

You have made it through mid-terms, and perhaps your academic performance has not met your expectations. Not all is lost! Most college courses are back loaded, meaning that a majority of the graded assignments fall toward the end of the semester. So whether you are flying effortlessly or struggling through some academic turbulence, here are three tips to help you prepare for a smooth landing in December.

Academic Alliances
Do you have a note buddy? How about a study group? If you haven't formed alliances in your courses yet, it is not too late to get started. A note buddy is someone with whom you can share notes. Classroom lecture is notoriously difficult to capture, so exchanging notes with a note buddy can help each of you fill in missing areas. A note buddy will also encourage you to take good notes because someone else is counting on the accuracy and completeness of your notes. Be sure to check with your faculty member about note exchange because while most faculty embrace this idea, a few do not. A study group can also help you work through some difficult concepts while also motivating you to study more out of class. Keep your study group small (no more than 4), however, or it will resemble a party more than a working group.

Important Interactions
If you are not regularly interacting with your faculty, you are missing a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the course material while building a meaningful academic relationship with an expert. Go to office hours. Your professor is sitting in his/her office waiting for students to visit, and usually you do not need an appointment. If you need to meet with a professor outside of office hours, send a polite and short email requesting a meeting. Propose a few possible meeting times, and do not expect an immediate answer. Faculty may only check their messages once a day, and your request may be at the end of a very long line. With this in mind, plan ahead and don't request a last-minute meeting. If you do not receive a response within 2 business days, it is appropriate to send a polite follow-up message.

Trust a Tutor
Finally, are you using tutoring in the Learning Center regularly? NCC offers free tutoring in almost every class. For popular classes like math, biology, chemistry, accounting, and Spanish we even offer walk-in tutoring where we have tutors waiting in the Learning Center to meet with you. No appointment required! Whether your goal is merely to survive calculus or to get an A on your next paper, we can help.

As you move through this semester, please remember that NCC provides many academic supports to help you reach your academic goals. Many of these supports like fellow students, faculty, and the Learning Center are hidden in plain sight, so look around and take advantage of these strategies to reach your full potential.