StAAR Center

The StAAR Center offers academic support through one-on-one academic coaching, writing consultations, tutoring, study groups and study strategies and discipline specific workshops. Our programs promote engaged, collaborative learning that build on students’ strengths while addressing their concerns and questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the StAAR Center’s approach to working with students?

StAAR's programming is student-centered and collaborative. Rather than providing a one-size-fits-all strategy, the StAAR Center offers a range of different supports to meet student where they need us most. Each student should fill out a Start with StAAR questionnaire which will allow us to target our support to them based on their needs.

How does the StAAR Center help students with the transition from high school to college?

College is designed to help students shift from relying on a teacher to taking on more responsibility for their own learning, which is a significant transition for young adults. Many students are used to having their time structured for them in high school and are unfamiliar with how to make priority-based decisions or structure their own time amid competing demands and goals. Often students don’t realize they have relied on study strategies and writing habits that are based on formulas, proscribed structures, or rote memorization, much of which will no longer serve them well in college. The StAAR Center understands these challenges. With small-group support and a plethora of workshops available to them, both live and recorded, the StAAR Center can help students hone their critical thinking skills and develop more effective strategies for studying, writing, setting goals, and balancing their lives.

How does the StAAR Center support students beyond their first year?

Even after their first year, students will continue to encounter new challenges with their academic work, whether it is learning how to study or write in a new discipline, taking on longer projects such as senior theses, or dealing with burnout. The StAAR Center tailors its approaches to students depending on their individual needs.

When should a student seek academic support?

We encourage students to visit the StAAR Center early in the semester, in order to build a solid process that will help them deal with the added stressors of midterms and finals. We can work with students wherever they are in their process, but the earlier we begin to work with a student, the more we can develop relationships that will lead to stronger outcomes. It can also be easier to prevent a difficult situation than to recover from one. Your student should fill out our Start with StAAR form detailing their needs. Someone from the Center will reach out with suggested supports.

Is tutoring free?

Yes! All StAAR Center services are covered by tuition.

How often can a student see a tutor or consultant?

Depending on their needs, students may see an Academic Coach, tutor, writing consultant or other professional up to one/hour per week. However, most students may see us more in the beginning of the semester and then drop into workshops or study groups as the semester progresses. The level of support your student is offered depends on their needs. Students may choose what supports they ultimately use.

How can I make sure my child is getting tutoring?

You can make sure they know what is offered through the various programs available at the StAAR Center. It is important to send the message that seeking support is a positive sign of engagement and investment in their learning. You can also suggest they ask if their friends have tried these programs and found them useful, as many students who use the StAAR Center are referred by their friends.

As young adults, students have a right to privacy protected by FERPA, so we cannot confirm for parents whether or not their child is using the programs unless we have the student’s written permission.

Who are the tutors and consultants, and what are their qualifications?

The StAAR Center employs professional staff members, graduates and undergraduate students with prior backgrounds in relevant areas.