Faculty Partnerships

The StAAR Center recognizes the importance of a strong relationship with faculty and staff. This resource page is designed to provide more information into some of our programs, as well as give faculty and staff access to stand-alone resource tools to use at their convenience. We also encourage you to get in touch with us at any time to refer a student, with questions or feedback.

2022 Disability Advocate Award

photo of William Masters, Professor at Friedman SchoolThe Disability Advocate Award is awarded annually to a staff or faculty member who has demonstrated disability advocacy while working with students. Nominated by the StAAR Center community, this year's recipient is Professor William Masters, who provides remarkable support to the Tufts community as a Professor of Food Economics and Policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition.  Please join us in congratulating Professor Masters for all he does at Tufts!

Previous Disability Advocate Award Winnners
2021: Monica Morin, 
Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Biology

Supporting Students with Disabilities: The Faculty's Role

The StAAR Center recognizes the pivotal role faculty play in supporting students with disabilities. Accommodations are designed to eliminate barriers that the students experience in the learning environment. Please contact StAAR at any time to discuss your students, specific accommodations, or clarification of your responsibilities. 

The Accommodation Letter Process

Students will be emailed a copy of their semester accommodation letters when they request them. They are responsible for getting them to you (printed or emailed). If you have not received an accommodation letter, than you should not be providing accommodations. Rather refer them to StAAR if they ask otherwise.

How to Support Students with Extended Time Accommodations

Typically professors permit the students to begin early or finish late in an office or alternative classroom. TAs in the class or office administrators have proctored exams on test day or alternative days as approved by the professor. Use thisFile Extended Time Allocations Guide to ensure your students are recieving the appropriate extended time on their exams. If a professor is unable to proctor a specific extended time exam for a student, please contact our office at staarcenter@tufts.edu or by phone (617) 627-4539. 

We have a limited number of exam rooms (6) for all students approved for testing accommodations. The testing rooms are reserved for students approved for distraction-reduced testing accommodations and assistive technology that would be disruptive to others in the testing space. 

Accommodations for Distraction Reduced Testing Space

StAAR has access to 6 private testing rooms only. We can only proctor exams for student's approved of use Assistive Technology or Distraction Reduced Testing. Students who need to take your exam in our testing space because of these accommodations are required to meet with faculty within a reasonable time period prior to the exam. 

Students must reserve a testing spot online, through our database Accommodate. All exams will begin at the top of the hour and faculty will need to log in to approve the exams. Exam materials must be emailed to the StAAR center at least 24 hours prior to the start of the exam.

Faculty Accommodate Login and Instructions

Adding Exam Accommodations in Canvas and ProctorU

If your course is online faculty will be responsible for providing extended time for approved students. Here are instructions on how to adjust the time on exams for students who receive extended time:

Canvas: please follow these instructions on adjusting extended time. 

ProctorU:  please follow these instructions on adding any exam accommodation. 

If you have any questions regarding a student's exam accommodation or setting it up in either platform please let us know.

Creating an Accessible Syllabus

Creating an Accessible Syllabus will allow students to get the information they need for their class. Follow our Accessible Syllabus Template to make sure your students understand your course requirements.


Statements for Your Syllabus

We encourage professors to include a statement in their syllabus that includes information for students with or without disabilities. This provides students with the appropriate contact information for our office and allows us to best support you and the student during the process of implementing accommodations. Please copy and paste the following to your Canvas and Syllabus:

Academic Support at the StAAR Center:

The StAAR Center (formerly the Academic Resource Center and Student Accessibility Services) offers a variety of resources to all students (both undergraduate and graduate) in the Schools of Arts and Science, Engineering, the SMFA and Fletcher; services are free to all enrolled students. Students may make an appointment to work on any writing-related project or assignment, attend subject tutoring in a variety of disciplines, or meet with an academic coach to hone fundamental academic skills such as time management or overcoming procrastination. Students can make an appointment for any of these services by visiting go.tufts.edu/TutorFinder, or by visiting our website: go.tufts.edu/StAARCenter

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Tufts University values the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty; recognizing the important contribution each student makes to our unique community. Tufts is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the Tufts experience. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact the StAAR Center (formerly Student Accessibility Services) at StaarCenter@tufts.edu or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with an accessibility representative to determine appropriate accommodations. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision.


Designing an Accessible Course for All Learners 

The StAAR Center is here to help when developing course materials for in online, hybrid and in-person courses. It is important to keep accessibility in mind when creating course material to ensure every student can obtain course materials. Please know that The StAAR Center is here for faculty, so please contact our office if you have any questions about making your materials. In addition, please check out the Covid-19 Resources for Faculty and Instructors.

Online Accessibility Guide

The StAAR Center has created a Online Accessibility Guide to help Faculty, Staff, at Tufts learn how to keep accessibility in mind when creating course content. 

Sheryl Burgstahler from the University of Washington has put together a Tutorial for Making Online Learning Accessible with additional Universal Design suggestions. 

Accessible Teaching during Covid-19

Student learning has been impacted due to the global pandemic Covid-19. Check out Mapping Access' Accessible Teaching during Covid-19 for tips on how to ensure equitable learning experiences. 

Creating Accessible Documents and PDFs

Learn how to use Headings/Styles, Alternative Texts, formatting, appropriate fonts and color contrasts when creating Word Documents and PDFs. Read our Creating Accessible Documents guidelines to make accessible documents natural habit.

Captioning Recorded Lectures or Video

Are you teaching a asynchronous, sharing previously recorded lectures or videos? Learn how to Caption a Recorded Class or Video through Zoom, WebEx, Canvas, and Youtube. 

Closed Captioning a Live Class

Are you teaching a live lecture online? Learn how to Closed Caption a Live Class so that everyone has the option to read the conversation.

Student Time Zone Survey

Creating a Time Zone Survey can assist in determining the best time for course components to be administered. Here is an example of a Time Zone Survey created by Ariel Goldberg, a Tufts Instructor and StAAR Faculty Advisory Board Member. 

Please Note: do not direct students to complete this link directly, as this is not connected to a specific course and will not be forwarded to you. If you would like access to copy the surver in Qualtrics which can then be designed for your own course please contace Kimberly.Doan@tufts.edu and a link will be provided to you within 24 business hours. 

Accessibility Checklist

We have created a Best Practices Checklist to ensure your course is accessible in an online setting. 

Academic Supports for All Students

The StAAR Center offers a variety of support for students, ranging from academic skills coaching and writing consultations, to subject tutoring and study groups, to academic skills and discipline-specific workshops. As partners in our students' success, the StAAR center asks you to mention our support to all students, even if they don't appear to be struggling

Academic Coaching

Tufts's Academic Coaching Program is excited to help faculty and staff support student learning throuigh Academic Skills Workshops, Drop-In Tutoring, and One-on-one Academic Skills Coaching. These programs are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can find out more about our Academic Coaching Program on our Academic Coaching web page

If you have questions about the Coaching Program, feel free to reach out to Associate Director of Academic Support, Katherine Swimm.

Writing Support for any Student

Collaboration is the key to improving as a writer, no matter what your level of experience or skill. Peer review is, of course, a fundamental part of academic publishing, and we can instill in students as early as their first year that responding to feedback on writing is a normal and even beneficial aspect of growing as a writer. Our approach is collaborative, student-centered, and process-oriented. We do not proofread or edit for students; instead, we engage them in deep conversation that allows them to re-envision their writing and make informed rhetorical choices. When sentence-level feedback is given, it is with an eye toward improving clarity and understanding grammatical concepts and stylistic choices. We work with both undergraduate and graduate students. 

As partners in our student success, the StAAR Center asks you to mention our support to all students, even if they don't appear to be struggling. If you know of a student who experiences writing anxiety, needs support through a long project, or just wants to improve their writing, please refer them to Kristina Aikens, Program Director for Writing Support.  

Writing Fellows Program

If you would like to partner with us on methods to teach students to plan, draft, and revise their writing before submitting it for a grade, consider applying to the Writing Fellows Program

The Writing Fellows Program is designed to provide students with additional support to attend more closely to their writing and to provide faculty with support around integrating more writing into their courses. The program pairs students with trained peer writing tutors to provide individual attention to writing. The program also creates a forum for faculty to share ideas on writing assignments that improve critical thinking. Read more about the Writing Fellows Program!

Request a Workshop 

Coordinate with the StAAR Center to include a workshop on your syllabus!  We are happy to collaborate on a workshop that would be beneficial for your students, including fundamental academic skills (time management, planning, reading, note-taking) or with the development of writing skills.
Additionally - if you need to include a planned absence from class - don't cancel it!  The StAAR Center staff will be happy to collaborate on a workshop that would be beneficial to the students in your course.

Workshop request form

Workshop Descriptions

Undergraduate Workshops

Managing Your Time in College: Learn different options for planning systems to find what works for you. Practice a weekly time management exercise. This 45-minute session also includes guided practice incorporating syllabus information into your personal planning system.

Online Learning: How to Manage, Engage, and Succeed: This 45-minute session will include tips for engaging in coursework remotely (lectures, studying, and taking exams) as well as guided practice to help you set up a schedule that works for you!

Studying Together: Find a Partner, Make a Plan: Connect with other students, make a plan, and learn how to maximize your study time. This 45-minute session will give students time to meet study partners and create a system for semester-long success.

Navigating Your Reading Load: Develop strategies to help you read more actively, efficiently, and with greater comprehension. This 45-minute, interactive workshop is perfect for students with heavy reading loads, or those who just want to remember what they read.

Notetaking for Live and Online Lectures: Learn to take notes for synchronous or asynchronous classes, and for lectures or when reading and studying. Develop and practice strategies during this interactive, 45-minute workshop that will help you make the most of your notetaking.

Tackling Test Taking and Test Stress: Make a plan to study for exams, including how to take tests in an online environment, create study guides, and create a preparation plan. This 45-minute interactive workshop will incorporate information from your course syllabi and Canvas to help you be prepared.

Big Projects, Small Steps: An Introduction to Project Planning: Need to tackle a big end-of-semester project, a looming set of deadlines or another pesky assignment? This interactive, 45-minute workshop will give you the skills to project-plan any task and meet your deadlines.

Get Started, Stay Engaged: How to Initiate Work and Avoid Procrastination: During this interactive, 45-minute workshop, students will be given an opportunity to make progress on a task they’ve been putting off and learn helpful tricks for “getting started.” Participants will also learn tips to avoid and address procrastination when it strikes.

Jumpstart Your Paper: Join us for strategies for understanding prompts and getting started in the writing process. We can use the writing prompt from your class that students are working on or practice with our samples!

Personal Statement Workshop: This workshop will help you understand the purpose of the personal statement for your applications and begin the writing process. Discussion and activities will help brainstorm possible topics, choose a focus, and organize your essay so that it reflects your future goals. Depending on the time of year, we may focus on a specific type of application, but our writing activities will apply to a variety of opportunities.

Graduate Workshops

Academic Coaching for Graduate Students 

What is academic coaching, and how can working one-on-one with an Academic Coach support your graduate school experience? This interactive workshop will give you a glimpse into how coaching can assist with time management, creating a study plan, breaking down assignments, productivity, work/life balance, and academic accountability.  


Time Management and Productivity in Graduate School  

This interactive workshop will explore how to manage time and stay productive during graduate school.  Participants will leave the workshop having the tools to develop a personal time management strategy, combat procrastination and stay motivated, and think critically about how their own learning styles influence their work and study habits.  Students should bring their current time management system (calendars, planners, journals) for hands-on work during the session.   


Where Do I Begin? Planning for and Starting Your Graduate Thesis  

This workshop is intended as an overview for graduate students who have not yet begun their thesis or who are in the beginning stages of the process. We will discuss the purpose of a thesis, exploring and refining a topic, working with an advisor, balancing ambition with practicality, and integrating writing into your research process. 


Reading and Note-taking for Graduate Students  

Learn how to manage a heavy reading load and take effective notes during graduate school.  During this interactive workshop, participants will learn techniques to increase comprehension, read more efficiently, and take effective notes.  Students should bring a reading (journal article, book chapter, etc.) for hands-on work during the session.  


Writing and Revision Strategies for Multilingual Graduate Students 

Writing is a core aspect of graduate work, yet writing at the graduate level often comes with unspoken, confusing, or simply unfamiliar expectations. This workshop aims to demystify graduate writing through activities and discussion that will allow you to examine these expectations; practice pre-writing, organization, and revision strategies; and develop a personal writing process that works for you. Bring a work in progress if you would like to try strategies on your own writing. (90 minutes)  


Public Speaking for Graduate Students  

Participants in this interactive workshop will learn strategies to feel confident speaking about their work in a variety of settings.  Whether it’s during a thesis or dissertation defense, a conference, or even during networking events, students will leave the workshop knowing techniques for preparing and delivering a public talk.  Students should bring the abstract for a past or future conference presentation or paper for hands-on work during the session.  Note: This workshop will not discuss how to develop visual materials. 


Writing and Revision Strategies for Graduate Coursework 

Writing is a core aspect of graduate work, yet writing at the graduate level often comes with unspoken, confusing, or simply unfamiliar expectations. This workshop aims to demystify graduate writing through activities and discussion that will allow you to examine these expectations; practice pre-writing, organization, and revision strategies; and develop a personal writing process that works for you. Bring a work in progress if you would like to try strategies on your own writing.


 Responding to Undergraduate Writing as a TA or RA 

Do your TA or RA responsibilities include responding to undergraduate student writing such as essays and papers, lab reports, discussion boards, co-authored papers, theses, or other formal or informal writing projects? This workshop will provide a pedagogical basis and concrete strategies for responding meaningfully to undergraduate student writing. You will be asked to prepare for the workshop by reading an article and a few samples of student writing.


Presentation Skills for Conferences and Defenses 

Participants in this interactive workshop will learn strategies to feel confident speaking about their work at conference and during the thesis or dissertation defense. Students will leave the workshop knowing techniques for preparing and delivering a public talk. Students should bring the abstract for a past or future conference presentation or paper for hands-on work during the session. Note: This workshop will not discuss how to develop visual materials (PowerPoint).  


Practical Work/Life Balance in Graduate School 

Graduate school requires unique approaches to work/life balance. Balancing a research agenda, coursework, qualifying exams, and writing alongside family, friends, and daily life can be quite challenging.  Participants in this workshop will learn practical strategies for managing these competing priorities.     


Managing Your Reading Load: Coursework and Research 

Learn how to manage a heavy reading load during graduate school, for both assignments connected to coursework and reading lists developed for your own research project.  During this interactive workshop, participants will learn techniques to increase comprehension, read more efficiently, and take effective notes, as well as organize these materials.    


Tackling Test Preparation and Test Taking 

Learn strategies to create an effective study space, plan studying, translate materials into a study guide, study according to learning preference and prepare the 24-hours prior. We’ll discuss strategies for approaching an exam, managing time, and coping with test anxiety.