By David Harris

Staff Writer

Last month, the Academic Support Center introduced Student Tracking and Retention System and community tutoring.

STARS is a software package obtained by a grant APSU received. The system was suggested by former Provost, Tristan Denley. The new system is available on OneStop to students, faculty and staff.

“We are trying to build a system that will better allow us to monitor the services that we’re providing to students,” said Martin Golson, director of Academic Support. “It will provide more information about students to the faculty. It will allow students to easily communicate and schedule appointments with some of the services at APSU and with faculty who are willing to put their office hours in the STARS system.

With the new system, students can schedule their own appointments with tutors by computer. They can also keep track of courses, check for academic alerts and communicate with staff and faculty.

Jon Langley,  senior English major and employee of the writing center, believes the Academic Support Center is very helpful.

“They help students learn how to do things on their own,” Langley said. “Sometimes, that works; sometimes, it doesn’t. It all depends on the student.”

With this system, faculty can see the last campus event a student attended, when students are admitted, current and previous courses and a student’s contact infomation and inform and assist students with academic alerts.

Community tutoring is a joint project between the Academic Support Center and Extended and Distance Education.

Before the program began, local community members had to settle for tutors charging high prices that often ranged from $40 to $90 for one-on-one tutoring.

The Academic Support Center decided to provide a cheaper opportunity for the community.

Now, all students and community members wanting one-on-one tutoring can pay $15 per hour. The tutors are students selected and recommended by the faculty of APSU.

Not all courses are available for small-group tutoring, but students can get help for any course by setting up a private appointment with a tutor.

“I think that the support center is actually pretty good,” said Tevin Shear, a freshman music performance major. “It should help any student in need of any subject. It’s not something you should be afraid of.”

One hope, according to Golson, is that by helping high-school students and community-college students, those students may consider attending APSU in the future.

Golson said he hopes students take advantage of the program. He believes that by seeking help, students can pass the courses and avoid spending hundreds of dollars to retake them. It is also a good opportunity for the tutors, according to Golson.

“We’re hoping this continues to build a culture of excellence that many of our students are already part of,” Golson said. “I think it’s a great program.” TAS