Editor's Note: This is part 17 in the Iowa State Daily’s “Speaking Success” series.
This week's Academic Success Center tips
Hello all! My name is Wes, and I am a senior studying Technical Communication. I also work for the Academic Success Center as a “Peer Academic Coach.” I’d like to share a little bit about what it means to be an Academic Coach and how we can benefit any one of you that’s taking the time to read this.
Academic Coaching is an opportunity for students to meet one-on-one with trained coaches. Our coaching staff consists of undergraduate and graduate students and professional staff. Our goal is to share knowledge that will help students succeed academically. This knowledge comes in the form of study skills, time management advice and note-taking strategies, among others. We have dozens of resources on our website, but sometimes a student doesn’t know where to start. In meetings, Academic Coaches will work with students to cater the best possible solution.
Academic Coaching is free, and our staff is flexible to meet with students on their terms. Coaching appointments are optional and do not have to be reoccurring. If, after one meeting, a student feels confident with the resources and knowledge we have provided, they do not need to return for another appointment. However, we do encourage regular meetings to check up on our students and help them whenever problems may arise.
Coaching appointments are 50 minutes long but can end early to fit a student’s needs. In a typical appointment, a coach might share some of our resources with the student. My favorite resource is called the “ABC To-Do List.” This particular list is great for prioritizing when to get assignments done and when to study for exams. The ABC To-Do List is a weekly planner that has columns to prioritize “To-Do” items for each day. The columns are respectively ordered A, B, and C. The highest priority items for each day should go in the A column. An A priority item may be a reading or a set of math problems that are due the next day. The B column is for items that are medium priority. This may be a project that is due in a couple of days that would be helpful to get started on early. The last, C, column is for low priority items. This may be studying for an exam that isn’t until next week. Things that are a lower priority will move up to higher priority later in the week until they are completed. The ABC To-Do List is just one of many resources we have at the Academic Success Center.
To schedule your first meeting with an academic coach, log into NAVIGATE, click “Appointments,” then “Schedule an Appointment.” Select “Academic Support” for the Care Unit. Select “Academic Coaching” for the Service. Select “Academic Success Center” for the Location. Then you can choose a timeslot that works for you and schedule your appointment.
This week's adviser is Grace Wolf, she/her/hers, who is originally from Ankeny, IA.
How would you introduce yourself?
My name is Grace Wolf; I am from a big city (just south of Chicago) and now adjusted to living in Iowa. I completed my Bachelors in Psychology at UNI and Masters in Student Affairs here at Iowa State. I’m passionate about helping students find success.
How many years have you worked at Iowa State?
Four total, two as a graduate assistant and two as a full-time staff member.
Why did you choose Iowa State?
I chose it because I love how beautiful campus is and the large-campus environment. I wasn’t ready to leave after my Master’s degree and wanted to stick around and help make sure other students felt welcomed and a part of the Cyclone community.
How would you explain your job to someone who doesn’t know what it is?
Oof, that’s a good one. I think I have to explain what I do to my Dad on a bi-weekly basis still. I’d say that my job is never the same day-to-day, but typically I am here to help students grow at Iowa State. Similar to a guidance counselor in high school- I’m here to help with academic success, teaching a class, connecting students to resources, and being a part of a student’s support system. Most importantly, I am a listening ear on campus that cares about you.
What is something you never thought you would do in your job?
Bringing my dog to the Psychology Club Welcome Back picnic per the request of my students and some faculty members!
What is something you want people to know about your job?
I care about my students.
What is something you want your advisees to know about your job?
That we are here to celebrate your success and help you achieve your goals. We are much more than registering you for classes or talking about when things aren’t going well. Advisors LOVE to hear life updates and congratulate you!
What is your favorite part of your job?
The students and I also love teaching the orientation course, PSYCH 111. It's nice meeting students outside of my office and in the classroom. And of course, the chocolate chip cookies in the Courtyard Café in the building I work in, I think my entire salary goes to those cookies.
What advice do you have for students?
It's important to know that adjusting to college can take time. Give yourself grace, be willing to learn from your mistakes, ask for help and accept the help that is offered to you. At the end of the day, you deserve to be here and never- for a single moment- doubt that.
Also, college flies by (so much so that I wanted to work on a college campus). Make the most out of your time if you are able and to not compare yourself to others. College looks different for everyone- your interests, dreams, and goals do not look the same as anyone on campus, so your experience won’t either. Be sure to surround yourself with peers, staff and faculty members who empower you to be your best self and help you build your future.
Favorite location to eat, hang out, or work on campus?
I love Lagomarcino Courtyard, especially in the fall with the red brick against the changing leaves. It’s a beautiful spot on campus that not a lot of people know about! Bonus is there is a café in Lagomarcino so you can grab a cup of coffee while you’re relaxing in the courtyard!
What groups on campus are you affiliated with beyond your advising job?
I currently advise the Asian-American sorority on campus, Delta Phi Lambda, I also am a part of Sisters, which is an organization for staff and faculty Women of Color on campus to build community, Colegas which is an organization for Hispanic and Latinx identifying staff and faculty, and I also advise Psychology Club!
What hobbies do you have?
I love to work out; I currently go to Orange Theory. I enjoy baking cookies, spending time with my husband and two dogs and watching college sports and the NFL all weekend long!
Do you have any pets?
Yes, we rescued two dogs from some shelters in Iowa. One is a Lab mix named Ruby, and the other is a Blue Heeler mix named Beau (after Lambeau Field because we are Packers fans).
Favorite place to eat outside of campus?
My favorite place to eat outside of campus in Ames is Provisions Lot F. You can’t go wrong, whether it's breakfast, dessert or dinner. I LOVE their Crème Brulee – yum!