By: Jayme Fisher
At Eastern University, there are many different resources that students can utilize that will set them up for academic success. One of the most prominent resources that some students don’t take advantage of is the Cushing Center for Counseling and Academic Support, which is usually referred to as CCAS and is located in Walton 210.
Eastern’s webpage says CCAS “…is committed to serving Eastern University students who need academic, psychological or disability services support to realize their potential during their college experience.”
If any traditional undergraduate student feels they need extra support, or a “cushion” during the academic year, CCAS is a valuable resource. Within CCAS, there are four areas of service: disability accommodations, the writing center, counseling services and tutoring services.
Starting with disability accommodations, Eastern understands that some students may struggle more than others in a college setting. Whether they need extra time taking a test, extra help outside of the classroom or more one-on-one assistance, CCAS will be able to support you and guide you through the entire process.
Typically, once a student has approved accommodations through CCAS, all they need to do is tell their professor, who works with the student to figure out how they can help them. Students can reach out to the CCAS (email@example.com) to learn more about accommodation options and how to apply for them.
The next resource CCAS offers is the writing center, where writing assistants work with students in a personal, one-on-one environment, helping students improve writing basics such as punctuation, structure and documenting sources. At the writing center, writing assistants identify areas of strength and weakness and solve problems with written expression. The writing center’s goal is to help students improve their writing skills and become more proficient in reviewing and revising their own work.
As someone who was once a writing tutor (I could no longer continue as time did not allow it), I think this is a highly useful resource for students. The writing center allows students to bring their papers and assignments to trained writing assistants who can help them get their paper to the next level. Writing assistants work one-on-one with the students to make sure each of their concerns are addressed and to help them feel confident before submitting an assignment or essay.
As a tip for first year students, if students struggle with following specific formats like MLA or APA style, the writing assistants are trained in these formats and will be able to check and help students create citations for their assignments.
The writing center offers in-person and online appointments, so students can even get writing assistance from the comfort of their dorm room. To schedule an appointment, students should go to the WCONLINE webpage (you can find this by going to Eastern.edu and searching “writing center”) and pick an appointment slot that works for their schedule.
Moving on, CCAS also offers counseling services to students for free. If anyone is struggling with their mental health, either in academics or in their personal life, counseling services can be super helpful.
Tamalei Sharp, a senior psychology major who has been using the counseling services, said, “The counseling service helped me to have a place to open up about things with an unbiased opinion and gave me useful resources to help with my anxiety.”
In terms of scheduling an appointment, Sharp said, “It is super easy to schedule and set up. All I had to do was fill out some forms about myself, why I was seeking counseling and what times I was available. Within a week, I received an email about if a certain time was good to start meeting with one of their counselors.”
To get access to the forms that Sharp filled out, students should email firstname.lastname@example.org and request signing up for counseling services.
Finally, CCAS also offers peer-on-peer tutoring services. Eastern’s CCAS page says, “The CCAS peer tutoring program offers students in traditional undergraduate programs support outside the classroom in most undergraduate subject areas from other students who have performed successfully in those subjects.”
Tutors help students with things like note-taking, time management and study skills. Emily Beck, a marketing tutor, said, “As a tutor, I help students by learning the information alongside them, so they can eventually learn it themselves.” Beck emphasized that the tutors are not teachers, but are a support and guidance system for them to help cultivate better study skills.
If students want to request peer tutoring, they need to fill out the peer tutor request form, which can be found by searching on Eastern’s webpage or emailing CCAS. Tutoring is arranged by appointments for in-person or online tutoring.