What is academic support and why should I use it?

For many students, “academic support” or “extra help” in high school meant working with a tutor to “fix” something, or to make up for a gap in understanding. At Princeton, “academic support” is more like coaching: the most successful Princeton students take advantage of opportunities outside of a formal classroom setting to enhance their performance, and no student goes it alone. Learning is a collaborative process here, and it’s important to explore the kinds of resources available to you from the very beginning so that you can become an even better learner. Academic support may include study groups, one on one consultations with specialists to better understand your own learning, and much more. All of our academic support resources are free of charge and available to all Princeton students. Your residential college Dean or Director of Studies will be happy to help you to identify what kinds of support will meet your needs; keep in mind that it’s normal to feel challenged by many aspects of your academic experience, and we are here to help even before you feel lost or overwhelmed!

The first person to turn to is the instructor, either in the form of your preceptor or the individual in charge of the course. They will be pleased that you’re concerned enough to ask for clarification or further explanation of a concept or for a diagnosis of problems that arise on tests and papers. Additional resources include the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, which offers study groups and free tutoring in introductory chemistry, economics, mathematics, physics, and statistics (in some disciplines). The Writing Center offers student writers free one-on-one conferences with experienced fellow writers trained to consult on writing projects in any discipline. Counseling and Psychological Services in McCosh Health Center offers mental health support. If you have any questions, your RCA, dean, director of studies, or director of student life can steer you toward the right resources.

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