Supplemental Instruction began in 1996 and quickly joined the Academic Support office. The ability to participate in active-review sessions with peers and a SI Leader has been invaluable to many Auburn students.
Another uniquely designed program, Study Smart, is available to students out of the Academic Support. Focused on developing successful study habits, Study Smart has benefited countless students since 1997. It also provided the foundation for Academic Coaching. What began as small group coaching to help students with academic issues, has grown to be an individualized, proactive service designed to empower participants to achieve their academic goals.
In collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Academic Support launched Plainsmen’s Prep in 2016. Under the direction of the former director, Dana Jablonski. The Plainsmen’s Prep program provides qualified incoming first-year students the chance to review mathematics concepts in preparation for a math placement exam. By completing the program, students have an opportunity to increase their math course placement for the fall semester.
In fall 2018, select Academic Support staff participated in the University of Southern California Race & Equity Training, hosted by the Office of Inclusion & Diversity. This training informed the decision to create a gender-neutral dress code for student employees. The staff collaboratively developed this dress code, which was installed in January 2019 for all programs in Academic Support.
While inclusive and equitable practices had been discussed in the context of national standards for learning centers, it was in fall 2018 that staff in Academic Support openly committed to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments. Since then, the staff have worked collaboratively to adjust program design, remove participation barriers, and audit policies, to create spaces that meet this commitment. Actions taken since then include: removing pronouns from intake paperwork (2018), developing a gender-neutral dress code (2019), creating an identity-hidden application process for SI Leader, Graduate Assistant, front desk, and professional staff (2019), shifting from a word-of-mouth recruitment process to a campus-wide recruitment process for student staff (2019), establishing and sharing anti-racist materials and resources with all student employees (2020), updating dress code to prohibit divisive and hateful symbology (2020), and creating a code of representation for student employees to address virtual and remote learning environments as a result of COVID-19 (2020). In addition, professional and student staff have participated in implicit bias trainings, hosted discussions on cultural capital, and questioned the practices of the office – ongoing — to identify ways to increase access and inclusion for all students.
In 2018, the Academic Coaching program was granted the College Reading Learning Association (CRLA) certification level I. The office also organized an accessibility audit of physical and digital spaces in partnership with the Office of Accessibility that same year.