Educators promoting student resources

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sometimes college students just don’t take advantage of all the resources available to them.

Ohio University Southern Admissions Director Dr. Kim Keffer compares it to going shopping.

“Education is one of the things people are willing to pay for and not get,” she said.

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She said students not using campus resources is akin to going to the department store, filling up the cart with groceries, paying for it all and then leaving it all at the cash register.

“And then saying ‘Oh, I didn’t really need them, I don’t want them, I just am doing my part for the economy,’” Keffer said. “None of us would do that, but when students pay tuition and then don’t use the resources, it is really the same thing.”

Keffer said it’s up to the faculty to generate the challenge and the student’s responsibility to access the support they need.

A key is using the resources in a timely manner. Since understanding most class work depend on learning and understanding the concepts that came before, waiting until the last minute isn’t going to help.

“If you realize you need some help with a class, go immediately,” Keffer said. “Sometimes, a student, little by little digs themselves an educational hole that becomes much more difficult to get out of than if they had gotten help as soon as they realized they were in a challenging situation.”

Keffer said the resource a student needs is as diverse as the students themselves.

“Some really need tutoring but don’t get it, others just need someone to help them with time management or test taking skills,” she said.

That’s where the Learning Center comes in.

“We provide free tutoring for our students, they are allowed two hours per week for each course,” said Suzi Moore, the Learning Center assistant and a tutor. “We also have a computer program called FOCUS. Students can use that to explore what kind of career they might want.”

The center offers help for disabled students such as getting a blind person a person to take notes or record books onto tape or providing interpreters for deaf students. They also help students with disabilities such as dyslexia.

Another resource that all students need at one time or another is the library and Mary Stout, the director of the library, said that the Internet has made it easier for students to get the information they need outside of regular hours.

The library also carries books, periodicals, newspapers, microfilm and microfiche although the last two don’t get much use these days.

“Students can read entire journal articles online,” she said. “So the great thing about the library is that besides having a wealth of resources here, there is a virtual library is open 24 hours a day.”

The librarians can show students how they can access what they need on the Web.

“We want them to come visit us and we are always willing to answer their questions, but it’s great that this safety net is out there,” she said, adding that many OUS students have jobs and families and need resources when the brick and mortar library is closed. “More and more students have found it fits into their schedule much better.”

When students do need a

book in their hands, the OUS library can assist in that since it is part of Ohio Link, which is 80 libraries across the state that share books and materials. Students can also get books from the main campus library in Athens which currently has around 3 million items and most items can be had within three days.

“That’s something I can’t even begin to put a price on,” Stout said.

Keffer said one resource students overlook is the campus faculty and staff.

“I think the number one resource a student has at any institution of higher learning is the people,” she said. “As with all institutions, we want our students to succeed.”