Grade point averages: the good, the bad and the ugly

Want to raise your GPA? The Sam Center will be starting their annual Study Skills Workshop Series this week.

The program is a series of six, one-hour study skills sessions that are aimed to increase students’ chances of success by raising their confidence and helping with study habits.

The program is taught by students that have been trained at the Sam Center.

Dr. Bernice Strauss, the designer of the program, describes the program as “streamlined and organized. It’s by students, for students.”

The first series starts this week and ends the week of March 2. Sessions will be held everyday of the week at various times. The late-start sessions will begin on Feb. 18 and 25.

Registration and a schedule of events can be found at the Sam Center. Registration is recommended but not necessary to participate.

Students can attend any session this week but must attend the same group for the duration of the series. Class size is limited, so registration is encouraged.

The free program is designed to help students with time management, reading textbooks and note taking, test-taking strategies, and stress management.

The program is in its seventh year and has achieved great success. Between 800 and 1000 students participate in the program every year.

Dr. Strauss stresses the importance of the program to student test-taking skills.

“It’s not about I.Q., it’s about skills,” she said.

Erin Casey, a freshly trained study skills facilitator, said, “I’m really excited. They rely on us to help them out. I feel important that I’m helping someone.”

The program is open to all classes and has a history of helping all levels of students. In past years half the participants have been freshman, 25% sophomores, and 25% juniors and seniors.

Lauren Robinson, an experienced facilitator, says, “You use your life experiences to teach them. It really does work.”

To assess the success of the program Dr. Strauss administers a survey called the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory to make sure the program does what it aims to do.

“It is unfair to offer things that we can’t demonstrate as effective. Every single semester we’ve seen a statistically significant increase in the student’s skills,” Strauss said.

After the students finish the program, they receive a card showing how many sessions they attended and student-designed free t-shirt.

Dr. Strauss says, “I take pride in something that doesn’t waste student’s time. The program works.”

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