Last Updated: January 22, 2021, 4:55 pm

OPINION | DSU’s Academic Performance Center saves grades


The Academic Performance Center is a free service to all students. Maddie Corder says the center was a grade saver for her human biology course. Photo by Bailey Chamberlain.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked into my first college class in the fall of 2019. I was very optimistic about expanding my knowledge of human biology and was excited to learn. Little did I know I would walk out of the class overwhelmed and wanting to drop out as soon as possible. I knew I needed to find help, and the Academic Performance Center was a lifesaver.

I decided to stick it out the first few weeks of the semester. I left each class confused and filled with anxiety. In high school, I excelled in all my science classes and rarely reached out for help. I just filled out notes and did the homework, and it was all I needed to do to achieve an A in a class. College is a completely different story.

In high school, my class sizes were pretty small, so even if I did need help, my teacher was readily available to help anytime. In contrast, my human biology class had a little over eighty students. My professor didn’t even know my name; it was so intimidating to go up and ask for help after the lecture, so I never did.

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One day, I expressed to my friends how much I was struggling in the class, and they suggested that I schedule an appointment with a biology tutor at the Academic Performance Center.

The appointment process was easy; all I had to do was log onto the website and click a few buttons. The center features a variety of tutors for all subjects, and it is super flexible when it comes to designating a time.

I walked into the Academic Performance Center confident that my grade would turn around. I checked in at the front desk with my student ID, and they guided me to a table where my tutor sat.

She greeted me with a big smile and expressed how happy she was to help me out. She was an excelling biology student with a passion for helping other students like me. She made biology a lot less intimidating than my professor.

I told my tutor all the concepts I was struggling with, she wrote them in her notes, and we went through them in the textbook readings. Learning all the brain’s functions and anatomy was tough at first, but she was able to break it down on a simple level to make it easier to comprehend.

I scheduled an appointment with my tutor each week for the rest of the semester. She also helped me study for my exams. I ended up getting one of the best grades on the final at the end of the semester.

I had a great experience with the Academic Performance Center and I will definitely continue to use it to my advantage in the future. The environment is welcoming and it enhances my college learning experience.

There is a stigma in college when it comes to tutoring. A lot of people feel dumb asking for help, but a little assistance goes a long way. Tutors can break down topics in a personalized way and make college lectures much less scary. I found that I struggled more by not asking for help. If anything, I came out of the tutoring center feeling smarter and more well educated.

If you are currently struggling in a class, do not hesitate to reach out for academic assistance; the tutors are excellent and always available for free.