Academic Success Center

We provide students on the Minneapolis campus with a variety of supportive services designed to promote academic and professional achievement.


  • Academic Support

    Professional staff members and student learning assistants offer services at no charge in Room E370. These services include:

    • Walk-in or appointment tutoring for liberal arts and science and professional program courses
    • Writing assistance
    • Study skills and test-taking skills assistance
    • Academic Coaching for Associate Degree Nursing Students
    • Tutoring for bilingual/multilingual students

    The Center exists in partnership with faculty and staff to support and enhance the academic development of all students in our campus community through student-centered programs and services that promote appreciation and respect for diverse learning styles, physical abilitie, and cultures.


The Academic Success Center offers walk-in tutoring for many liberal arts and science and professional program courses each term. Students unable to attend any of the scheduled walk-in sessions for a particular course may, depending upon staff availability, be able to meet by appointment with an assigned staff member. Tutors can clarify course material, help review for tests, and make study suggestions.

Walk-in tutoring hours change every subsession, and copies of the various schedules are available in Room E370. For information about walk-in, by-appointment tutoring, or online tutoring, please call 651-690-7832.

The Academic Success Center offers walk-in writing assistance in Room E370. Students unable to attend any of the scheduled Writing Lab hours may, depending upon staff availability, be able to meet by appointment with an assigned staff member. Students are encouraged to come for help with papers several days before due dates. Staff do not “fix” papers, but work interactively with students to increase their recognition of strengths and difficulties in their writing, in order to advance the skill of the writer and the quality of the writing.

Writing Lab hours change every subsession, and copies of the walk-in schedule are available in Room E370. For information about writing assistance, please call 651-690-7832.

Through your work in ENGL 1100, ENGL 1120, or other writing intensive courses, you may have become aware that you have difficulty with particular aspects of academic writing. The following links are from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University.

The Academic Success Center provides study skills assistance on an appointment basis for students interested in strengthening or expanding their learning strategies. Sessions may focus on time management, textbook reading, notetaking and reviewing, or test-taking.

For information about study skills assistance, please call 651-690-7848.

The Academic Coach provides one-to-one support and group review sessions; addresses various learning needs and styles; and assists with organization, study and test-taking skills, and test anxiety.

For more information about this assistance, please call 651-690-7848.

Professional assistance with writing or speaking English is available during ESL Lab hours and by appointment.

Students who speak English as a second or third language can prepare for effective communication in clinical settings from professional staff.

ESL Lab hours change every subsession, and copies of the walk-in schedule are available in Room E370.

For information about multilingual assistance, please call 651-690-8128.

The Test Anxiety Program (TAP) is a 6-session group for health care students who experience anxiety related to test-taking. The program focuses on understanding the physiological effects of stress, cognitive and behavioral strategies for reducing anxiety, effective study skills, and test-taking techniques.

This program is offered on various days and at various times, depending on the semester. Contact Joan Robson (651-690-8160) or Crystalynn Morton (651-690-7848) for more information.

Note: For Essential Study Partners of the Saladin links you will need to select a specific topic and subtopic from the topics list on the left hand side of the web page.

Blood Flow Review

The following websites review the primary structures of the heart and how blood flows through the heart.

Cardiac Conduction

The cardiac conduction system is the electrical system of the heart. The following links review the structures and the steps of this system.

Respiration

The following links review the essential structures of the respiratory system as well as the process of gas exchange between cells.

Fluid Balance

Metabolism

Osmosis and Diffusion

Action Potentials

The following websites review how nerve impulses are conducted.

Immune Response

These links review cells, structures, and processes that are involved in immunity.

Urine Formation

The following links review the key structures and steps in the formation of urine.

Autonomic Nervous System

These sites review the divisions of the autonomic system and their roles in the nervous system.

Hormone Control

These sites define hormones, how they form, and how they work.

Muscle Contraction

These sites review the steps of muscle contraction.

  • Testing

    The Student Testing Center provides COMPASS placement testing for students accepted into certificate and associate degree programs; extended testing time for authorized students; and reduced distraction testing for authorized students.

    Students with disabilities who would like to utilize extended time and/or reduced distraction testing must first be authorized by the Coordinator of Disability Resources. Bilingual and multilingual students who would like to utilize extended testing time must first be authorized by the ESL Specialist.

    For information regarding testing services, please contact the Testing Center Coordinator at 651-690-7745.


  • You must receive authorization from the ESL Specialist or the Coordinator of Student Disability Services 1 week prior to taking tests in the Testing Center.
  • Once you have received authorization for use of the Testing Center, you are responsible for filling out the Blue Student Test Scheduling Form and delivering it to the Testing Specialist in room 371. All Blue Student Test Scheduling Forms must be turned in 1 week in advance.
  • It is your responsibility to be on time for each test. Please check with the Testing Specialist to make sure that you are aware of when your tests will begin, as start times will vary depending on the way a class is structured. Tardiness regardless of reason, is not only disruptive to others, but will result in the loss of time remaining for your exam and may result in the suspension of your right to use the Testing Center.
  • In the event that you must miss a scheduled test for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact both your instructor and the Testing Specialist immediately and prior to the start of class. You will be considered a "no show" if you do not do this and after 3 "no shows", your right to use the Testing Center will be suspended for the semester.
    • If you have experienced an emergency illness or situation, you are responsible for immediately contacting your instructor to discuss procedures and time-lines for retaking an exam.
    • If you have missed an exam due to disability related issues, you are responsible for immediately contacting your instructor to discuss procedures and time-lines for retaking an exam and encouraged to contact the Coordinator of Student Disability Services.
  • Only authorized materials may be brought into the testing room. Items such as coats, hats, bags, purses, cell phones, food etc., must be left in the designated areas or outside of the testing room. The use of unauthorized materials in the testing room is considered cheating.
  • Scratch paper may be used only with the permission of the Testing Specialist. All scratch paper must be handed in with your exam. It will be stapled to your test and given to your instructor.
  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne when using the Testing Center.
  • All tests are monitored and taped. Cheating is a violation of the college's code of conduct and will not be tolerated. Some examples of cheating include: sharing information, talking during an exam, copying from another student's paper and using unauthorized materials.

Just about everyone experiences some level of test anxiety. It is normal to be a little anxious before an exam, and a small amount of anxiety can help motivate us to work hard before and during an exam. However, some students feel high levels of anxiety, fear, and frustration related to exams. Test anxiety involves physical, cognitive, and emotional responses that can interfere with studying or performance on the exam.

The Test Anxiety Triangle further describes the possible impact of test anxiety.

Managing Test Anxiety

There are several strategies that can be used to reduce test anxiety.

  • Improve Study Skills or Try New Study Strategies. Practice good study habits and incorporate active learning strategies, reading strategies, and test-taking strategies. The Writing and Study Skills Specialist in the Learning Center is also a great resource.
  • Prepare Well. Begin preparation early, and study frequently for shorter chunks of time. Utilize the Learning Assistants in the Learning Center. Also, improving time management skills can assist in planning study time and help to avoid last-minute cramming.
  • Use Relaxation Strategies. Practicing relaxation strategies can help combat the effects of stress and reduce anxiety. Breathing techniques are great because they can be done anywhere, anytime.
  • Avoid Negative Thoughts. Learn to recognize, stop, and reframe automatic negative thoughts.
  • Use Positive Affirmations/Positive Self-Talk. Prepare positive statements that you can tell yourself when you are studying, about to enter an exam, or when you recognize automatic negative thoughts.
  • Identify Triggers. You can better manage test anxiety if you identify what triggers your anxiety. Once you have identified a trigger, you can problem solve various ways to lessen the impact of the trigger.
  • Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle. Proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise are very important for your mind and body to function optimally.

Resources

Van Blerkom, D. L. (2000). College study skills: Becoming a strategic learner. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Van Blerkom, D. L., & Mulcahy-Ernt, P. I. (2005). College reading and study strategies. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

  • Disability Services

    St. Catherine University is committed to creating and promoting accessible and inclusive learning environments for all. To achieve this goal, Student Disability Resources partners with students, faculty, and staff to address barriers to full participation while promoting independence of students.

    The resources and accommodations through Student Disability Resources are individualized and determined on a case-by-case basis. These resources include, but are not limited to:

    • Test accommodations
    • Peer notetaking support
    • Access to books and other course materials in alternative format
    • Sign language interpreters
    • Use of adaptive technology
    • Clinical accommodation planning
    • Referral to campus and community resources

Steps

  1. Contact Student Disability Resources
    • In person - Minneapolis Campus, Education Building, Room 369
    • By email - jcrobson@stkate.edu
    • By phone - 651-690-8160
    • A student interview will be arranged to obtain background information, explain processes, and review submitted documentation and/or documentation needs. The student and the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources partner to identify resources and accommodations that address barriers to access. The resources, strategies, and accommodations are individualized and based on information obtained from both the student and the disability documentation.
  2. Meet with Coordinator of Student Disability Resources to identify resources and/or accommodations and obtain Accommodation Authorization Letter(s)
  3. Student distributes Accommodation Authorization Letter(s) to instructor(s). (see "Guidelines and Procedures")
  4. Follow-up with Coordinator of Student Disability Resources as needed

Students are encouraged to initiate this process prior to the start of the term, but accommodations can be requested at any time. It is the student’s responsibility to inform Student Disability Resources if an accommodation is not being implemented or is insufficient.

Temporary accommodations are sometimes granted to students who are in the process of being assessed for a specific disability and for students with a temporary condition. These services are time limited, typically one term.

Services

Test Accommodations

Test accommodations may include:

  • Extended time to complete the exam
  • Reduced distraction room
  • Tests-on-tape or use of a reader
  • Scribe to assist with recording answers
  • Use of a computer
  • Use of adaptive technology
  • Other exam accommodations may be arranged on a case-by-case basis

Course Materials in Alternative Format

If appropriate, students may receive textbooks and other course materials in alternative format (audio, electronic text, Braille). It is important for students to make this request as soon as they have registered for classes. It can take between 2 – 6 weeks for books to be completely converted or to obtain an electronic copy from the publisher. Please make requests as early as possible following the steps below.

  1. Contact Student Disability Resources to discuss whether text conversion would be an appropriate accommodation for you.
  2. Register for courses.
  3. Obtain textbook information.This can be found on the bookstore website, or you can contact the instructor(s) to request information about required texts for each course. Text information needed includes: Title, Author, Copyright Date, Edition, Publisher, and ISBN. If the instructor does not respond to your request for information, please contact the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources for assistance.
  4. Contact Student Disability Resources to request the required texts in alternative format and to discuss preferences in format.

Notetaking

Students who are eligible to utilize notetaking support will have access to a peer’s class notes. The student receiving the notes and the peer notetaker are expected to attend class regularly, and both must adhere to all notetaking guidelines, which will be reviewed with the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources.

Finding a Notetaker

The professor may be asked to make a general announcement (or send an email) to the class stating that a notetaker is needed for the course. Students who are interested in being a notetaker will be instructed to contact the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources.

OR

The student with a disability may identify another student in the class to ask to be their notetaker.

Sign Language Interpreting

St. Catherine University will arrange interpreter services for classes, related academic requirements, and non-academic activities sponsored by St. Catherine University. Students requesting interpreter services need to meet with the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources to discuss his or her individual needs. Interpreting requests should be made at least on week in advance, however, every effort will be made to honor all requests.

Policies

The Accommodation Authorization Letter

If accommodations relate to participation in courses, an Accommodation Authorization Letter that outlines the specific accommodations will be completed for each course. The student is responsible for promptly informing instructors of their accommodations by giving them the Accommodation Authorization Letter. Students must meet with the Coordinator of Student Disability Resources each term to evaluate the need for accommodations and obtain Accommodation Authorization Letters for their current courses.

Confidentiality

All disability-related information including documentation, correspondence, and accommodation records are considered confidential. Access to disability-related information withinSt. Catherine University is on a need-to-know basis and only for the purpose of assuring equal access or reasonable accommodations. Student Disability Resources will not release disability records or other information to any outside entity. Students may request for information to be released to specific persons or agencies by signing a "Release of Information" form.

Grievance Procedure

If a student has a concern about a disability-related issue or feels that she/he has experienced discrimination because of a disability, there are both internal and external channels for addressing the complaint. The university strongly encourages the use of an informal complaint resolution process for all students. In this process, the student is encouraged to speak directly to the faculty, staff member, or student involved in the issue or concern. If this is not possible, the student may continue the process by talking to a department chair, a supervisor, a staff member from a disabilities resources office, or the Assistant Dean of Students for Saint Catherine University.

If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, the student should use the university’s formal grievance process. This process is described in detail in LeGuide,and the student should consult the appropriate sections for academic and non-academic grievances.

There is a variety of assistive technology available on campus including:

  • Kurzweil 3000—Learning Center, Education Building Rm 370
  • Kurzweil 1000—Learning Center, Education Building Rm 370
  • Zoomtext—Learning Center, Education Building Rm 370 and all Library computers
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking—Learning Center, Rm 370A
  • JAWS for Windows—Learning Center, Education Building Rm 370 and Library
  • EclipseReader—Learning Center, Education Building Rm 370

If you have questions regarding this technology, please contact Student Disability Resources at 651.690.8160.

Student Disability Resources partners with faculty and staff to promote accessible learning environments.

Syllabus Statement

Faculty are encouraged to include a disability statement on their course syllabus. The following is a recommended statement:

Students with Disabilities—St. Catherine University values diversity and inclusion and recognizes that disability is an aspect of diversity. The University’s goal is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to full inclusion or accurate assessment of achievement related to a disability, students are encouraged to contact me and Student Disability Resources as soon as possible.

For information about specific academic adjustments, accommodations or resources for students with disabilities, please contact Student Disability Resources: Joan Robson, Coordinator of Student Disability Resources, 651-690-8160.

  • Multilingual Services

    Academic Enhancement provides students with a variety of supportive services designed to promote the highest levels of academic, personal, and professional achievement. Multilingual students may meet with the ESL specialist for writing and general language assistance by appointment. Some of the services offered include:

    • Writing assistance
    • Vocabulary building
    • Assistance with preparation for effective communication at clinical sites
    • Access to a variety of software and computer resources to support skill development
    • Extended testing services (eligibility required)

    Some multilingual students may be eligible to utilize extended test-taking time in the Student Testing Center. All students must meet eligibility requirements in order to utilize extended testing services. Multilingual students who wish to utilize extended test-taking services must receive authorization from the ESL Specialist each semester, for each class in which they require these services. Students who wish to receive extended test-taking services must make an appointment to meet in person with the ESL specialist at least 1 week prior to taking any exams in the Student Testing Center. Multilingual students who are authorized to use the Student Testing Center for extended test-taking time must access Learning Center services throughout the semester in order to meet eligibility requirements.

    For information regarding services for Multilingual students, please contact the ESL Specialist at 651-690-8160.


Professional assistance with writing or speaking English is available during ESL Lab hours and by appointment.

Students who speak English as a second or third language can prepare for effective communication in clinical settings from professional staff.

ESL Lab hours change every subsession, and copies of the walk-in schedule are available in Room E370.

For information about multilingual assistance, please call 651.690.8128.

Handouts for Students

Students often struggle with the mechanics of creating academically appropriate writing. Whether it's the construction of sentences and paragraphs that flow together, or it's the creation of proper structure and organization of a paper, these areas seem to be difficult for many students. The following, is a list of resources for students to make their writing more appropriate for academic purposes.

Handouts for Faculty/Staff

Recommended Websites for Students

  • BBC Learning English: Practice for reading, listening, and writing skills. This website has great grammar and vocabulary building exercises.
  • Encyclopedia.com: Supplemental resource for verifying facts and information. This website also contains biographies.
  • Internet TESL Journal: Practice for improving listening and comprehension skills. Minimal pairs exercises highly recommended.
  • Many Things.org: Practice for vocabulary building, pronunciation, reading, and listening. This website also contains grammar quizzes.
  • Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia: Useful online medical encyclopedia.
  • EduFind.com: Useful source for practicing English grammar. This website contains many printable handouts, and short quizzes covering multiple areas of English grammar.
  • OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab: Useful source for practicing English grammar. This website contains numerous printable handouts for general writing and mechanics, along with citation guides.
  • Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Practice for improving listening and vocabulary building.
  • Medi Lexicon.com: Online medical dictionary, containing drug information, and medical abbreviations.
  • The Bedford Handbook 8th ed.: Online resource for writing, grammar, and research. This website also contains sample research papers.
  • Anatomy & Physiology Study Skills: Online software that covers various areas and topics on human anatomy and physiology.