Undergraduate Admission Blog

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July 3, 2013

Help! How USC Provides Students With the Academic Support They Need

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          Moving away to college can be an exciting yet overwhelming process. New friends, new food, new living arrangement— it definitely takes some adjusting.

          Perhaps the biggest “new” though is your academic experience. Aside from the increased autonomy that you will experience, the classes themselves will be more challenging (it is college, after all!) And, the class sizes might differ from those you had in high school. While the average class size at USC is 26 with a student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1, some courses you take will be larger.

          Any larger classes are broken up into what is called “sections” led by a graduate student, which allows students to discuss and ultimately clarify any material that was taught in lecture. New material will always be taught by a USC faculty member; graduate students serve as a resource to help students better understand the material and answer any remaining questions. Both graduate students and faculty members hold office hours during the week, which provide an opportunity for students to interact with them one-on-one and address any lingering concerns they may have.

          But what if you still need additional help? That’s where our Center for Academic Support comes in. At USC, we want to make sure that students have access to the support and resources they need in order to thrive during their time here. The Center for Academic Support offers students a variety of services, including:

-Tutoring and Learning Assistance
-Learning Enrichment Workshops (i.e. time management, note-taking, writing papers, etc.)
-Student Support Groups
-One-on-one academic support counseling

          Students with disabilities who may require additional support will also be accommodated through our Disability Services and Programs Office. Services include:

-Assistance in providing readers, scribes, note-takers and interpreters
-Advocacy with faculty
-Special accommodations for test-taking needs
-Auxiliary aid and equipment loans
-Assistance with architectural barriers
-Information on accessible seating at USC sporting events
-Assistive technology

          Additionally, USC’s Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity offers students with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and other identified learning differences state-of-the-art assistive technologies, as well as access to educational psychologists, occupational therapists, and other learning specialists. As USC President C.L. Max Nikias put it, “the USC Kortschak Center is the realization of the Kortschak family and USC’s shared commitment to ensuring that every creative mind has the opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless, of learning style.”

          Both the Center for Academic Support and Kortschak’s Center for Learning and Creativity are further examples of how the University supports its students and fosters personal and academic excellence.

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