SSS Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2016


This is the second Newsletter of this academic year, 2016-2017.  Our previous Newsletter contained important information about Student Support Services at AMU.  Some of that information is echoed here below.  All the information contained in the initial Newsletter remains available at present since we are archiving each edition, placing it within your reach at any time.  Click here for the previous Newsletter, Issue 1.

Student Support Services continues to provide all students assistance in achieving their academic goals.  See our list of particular services reprinted in this newsletter.  Academic advising and support, along with adaptive services, are provided by four full-time staff.  Tutoring is provided by faculty-approved student tutors including graduate students.  Our services are supplemented by Clinical Counseling with a licensed mental health counselor and a licensed clinical psychologist. There are no fees for services provided by tutors, academic advisors, or AMU’s clinical counselor and psychologist.

Student Support Team


Answer True or False!
Tutoring is offered by students who excel in particular disciplines.
Tutors are most often juniors, seniors, or graduate students.
Tutors must be approved by 
Tutoring takes place in the Hub.
The Hub is located above the student cafeteria.
No appointment is needed for tutoring.
Tutors are paid by the university.
Tutoring includes assistance with faculty-assigned papers.
Tutoring is available every day of the week except Saturday.
Tutoring is intended to help students learn and improve their grades.
 [Answers are found below in this newsletter.*]


October 10 Provisional Grade Reports Due
October 20-23 Fall Term Break – No Classes
November 1 All Saints Day
November 2-18 Advising and Registration Period
November 14 Last Day to Withdraw from Courses with a “W”
November 24-27 Thanksgiving Break – School Closed


Withdrawing is the term used to describe discontinuing a course following the designated Add-Drop period but before the date beyond which discontinuing a course results in a Failing grade.  Students withdraw from courses late in a course to avoid a failing grade.  Instead, the student receives a “W” on his or her transcript.  At AMU, the deadline for withdrawing occurs about one month before the end of a course.  This semester the Withdrawal deadline is November 14. Withdrawals remain a permanent part of the student’s transcript. It is important to know that students are required to satisfactorily complete two-thirds of their courses in order to remain in good standing with financial aid.  Accordingly, students should keep at a minimum the number of courses from which they withdraw.



Grace Farley is a writing tutor who exemplifies the kinds of abilities and enthusiasm that writing tutors bring to their work.  Grace graduated AMU in 2014, with a major in Theology and a minor in Philosophy.  She is now a graduate Theology student at AMU; she tutors undergraduates ten hours a week.  In her words, “I love tutoring students at AMU.  Watching a student go from confused to clear, from disorganized to well organized gives me joy!  I’m here to help in any way I can.  If you are confused by your Summa Theologica reading, come see me. If you don’t understand your paper prompt, come see me. If you need help outlining your paper, come see me. If you think you have finished your paper but want a second pair of eyes, come see me. Come early and often. Everyone at Ave wants you to succeed: your teachers, your classmates – and especially your tutors!”


Writing tutors are available at the Hub 60 hours a week.  A schedule of writing tutors can be obtained there.  Below are tips from AMU tutors for getting the most out of tutoring.

  • Decide that you really want to write a good paper.
  • Read and re-read a professor’s well written, detailed instructions.
  • Focus on producing exactly what the professor wants.
  • Consult the professor for help first.
  • Draft a statement of your answer, position, or point of view for your paper.
  • Organize information, texts, evidence, quotes to support your view.
  • Write with simple, familiar words used in conversation.
  • Do what you can yourself before coming for tutoring.
  • Study the subject matter well before coming to tutoring.
  • Come for tutoring early in the process of writing your paper.
  • Be prepared to tell the tutor what kind of help you want.
  • Bring the professor’s prompt to show the tutor.
  • Know that it’s okay to tell the tutor, “I’m stuck.”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your outline.
  • If possible, bring an outline of your paper.
  • Bring what you have written on paper, not just on the computer.
  • Conversing with the tutor can help clarify what you want to say.
  • Realize the tutor’s time is limited; you may have to work in segments.
Working with a tutor is a process that tends to improve with practice.



Change often produces stress.  And sometimes stress is accompanied by anxiety.  The first semester in college away from home is a big adjustment for most students.  It is not surprising then that many first-time college students experience stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression as they miss being at home.
The good news is that homesickness is usually short-lived. Within weeks or months, most first-time college students find themselves engaging in good relationships with new friends, in activities that they enjoyed at home, in classes that are interesting, and in different experiences that they find enjoyable.
The key to successfully transitioning to college life is being open to new people and new experiences.  It does take time and effort.  And it takes patience.  It also requires acceptance of the fact that life is sometimes difficult or challenging.
Fortunately for AMU students, this university is a close, supportive environment.  But, overcoming homesickness still remains a challenge for the individual.  If the challenge feels a bit overwhelming at any point, counseling is available with AMU’s licensed Mental Health Counselor or licensed clinical Psychologist.  For an appointment, students can call 239-280-7372, or email
For an interesting article entitled, “9 Ways to Help Homesickness,” see


Q.  Should I confer with my professor when I think I need help?
A.  Yes, absolutely! Part of being a professor at Ave Maria is being available for students outside of class.  That is one of the reasons that the university provides a professor with an office.  The professor’s office is another context for teaching students.  Your success is the professor’s success.  After all, the professor’s objective is that you learn.  If you learn, your professor has succeeded in educating one more student in becoming a more competent graduate, more capable of contributing 
to family, church, and the wider community.  Professors are there for you.

Q.  What if I find it difficult to meet with a professor for help?
A.  Know that your professors want to meet with you.  Ave Maria professors are interested in their students.  Also, your professors are enthusiastic about their discipline and want to share their knowledge and love of their subject with you.  Professors view a student’s coming for help as a sign of interest in learning.  A session with you gives the professor an opportunity to learn what you do not know or understand. Then the professor can facilitate a breakthrough, bridge a gap, or provide an insight to help you better understand.  In the process, you are likely to build rapport with the professor that will make it easier to communicate and learn.

Answers to the quiz above: All ten statements are true!

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