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On-campus resources that are here to help

AMIDST ALL THE new places, people, and experiences that come with starting university, some students forget the reason they’re here: School. Often it takes a few failed midterms for freshmen to realize how hard university academics really are—and how unprepared they may be for the massive learning curve faced by all first years.

As far as university is concerned, the worst mistake any first year can make is assuming that they know what they’re doing. This isn’t high school—the bar has been set a lot higher than you think. Lucky for you, the university has set up a service dedicated to offering academic help to students in any program or year of study, completely free of charge: The Student Academic Success Service (SASS). For the sake of your scholarship, or at least your grade report, look into some of these academic resources sooner rather than later.

Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC)

If you’re unsure of how to properly pull in a peripheral secondary source or if you just need help figuring out what the hell a thesis is, the AWHC is for you. Located at 110 University Pvt., this help centre offers one-on-one appointments with experienced student advisors. Staff are well equipped to help students research, outline, write, and review any essays or assignments. More than just a proofreading service, the AWHC caters more toward the ultimate goal of training students to catch their own mistakes and identify the consistent problems in their writing that keep their assignments from snagging As every time. You can sign up for an appointment at the AWHC—their list of available time slots is located at the centre itself. In addition to their in-office help, the AWHC has a multitude of online resources for students to reference at any stage of the writing process. Check out Sass.uottawa.ca/writing to access helpful online writing tools or to learn more about the centre.

Access Service

Specifically designed to aid students having difficulty transitioning into university due to learning disabilities or health and mental issues, Access Service can help students adapt to the post-secondary environment with ease. Working closely with the administration, Access Service is able to provide students with altered timetables or exam schedules in order to lighten their academic load. For students seeking specific, one-on-one help, Access Service, which is located in room 339 of the University Centre, also offers in-class note-takers, interpreters, and tutors. For a list of some of the transition program workshops run by Access Service or to learn more about how you can make use of their services, go to Sass.uottawa.ca/access.

Student Mentoring Program

Sometimes what a struggling student really needs is specialized help. That’s where the Student Mentoring Program comes in. Matching first-year students with mentors in second, third, and fourth year, the mentorship program ensures struggling students are given the attention they need from leaders with first-hand student experience. There to provide individual help and to aid in setting up study groups, SASS mentors are both knowledgeable and understanding. To get paired up with a mentor of your own or to take advantage of some of the workshops on effective studying, essay writing, and using the library’s resources, visit Sass.uottawa.ca/mentoring.

—Jaclyn Lytle