As someone who obtained a bachelor's degree and is now pursuing a master's degree at ATU, I have been exposed to and utilized many of the resources available to aid in student success and involvement on campus. I have compiled a list of what I believe to be five resources vital to student success. So whether you are an incoming freshman, a transfer student, or even a senior in your last semester, this list is for you.
1. Testing and Disability Services
While I might be a little biased because I am a graduate assistant for this office, I whole-heartedly believe every student should know what Testing and Disability Services does.
Every college student has to take a standardized test of some form. Whether you are an incoming student or a graduating senior, Testing Services was made for you. Personally, Testing Services allowed me to take the ACT as a senior in high school, and then later, the Praxis, in order to earn my teaching license when I graduated. Some of the other tests that are administered and proctored by Testing Services are the ACCUPLACER, National ACT, CLEP, GRE, MAT, Praxis, TOEFL, TEAS, and Correspondence.
Disability Services exists to "serve as the campus liaison for students who may experience barriers in their learning environment due to a disability.” Disability Services utilizes a three-step process for accommodations.
- Students must apply for accommodations and detail the educational barriers from their disability.
- Students must provide documentation— i.e. 504 plan or IEP from the previous academic environment or a letter with an official diagnosis by their doctor.
- The student will either be asked to provide additional documentation or they will be moved to an intake interview to develop a personalized accommodation plan for success.
2. APEX Tutoring Center
In the first few semesters of undergrad, all students are required to take some general education courses and these classes may not be their strongest subject matter. While I can personally excel in any history class, the same cannot be said for any given science class. Thankfully the APEX Tutoring Center could help me and other students who find themselves in this same situation.
I sat down with a graduate assistant from the APEX Tutoring Center, Jahaziel Martinez, and asked him the following question—why is the APEX Tutoring Center an important resource for ATU students to know about?
Jahaziel replied, “The tutoring center provides multiple resources that can be very beneficial, especially for an incoming freshman. We have an Academic Coaching program that helps students develop efficient study habits and routines and we also provide guidance throughout their academic semesters. We of course, also offer tutoring for almost every major on campus. Our tutors are students who have excelled in their respective classes and are committed to helping other students reach their goals."
To set up an appointment with the Tutoring Center, call (479)-964-0583 ext. 6503.
3. Diversity and Inclusion
“The Department of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) focuses on:
- enhancing and supporting the experiences of students within underrepresented populations and marginalized groups
- promoting a campus environment that welcomes inclusiveness, multiculturalism, and social justice
- enriching student success from the first-year until graduation
- supporting registered student organizations that represent aspects of diversity and inclusion
- providing diversity and social justice training and workshops
- sponsoring cultural celebration events designed to support the overall success of underserved students as well as strengthen the cultural competency of the campus community
The department of Diversity and Inclusion offers many opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Some examples of events held include:
- MLK Day of Remembrance and Community Service of Choice
- Safe Zone Training
- Tech Teas
- Black History Month Kickoff
- Red Summer
- Black Bodies: The Hidden History of America’s Tour of Hate
4. Health and Wellness Center
Balancing your course work, campus involvement, and social relationships can be emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging. It is important to make sure you are also dedicating time to take care of yourself. The Health and Wellness Center offers students health and counseling services. The best part is that these services are covered in your tuition and fees, so you do not have to pay when you visit.
Services provided in regards to healthcare are:
- the treatment of minor acute illnesses or injuries
- flu shots
- allergy shots ordered by a private physician
- blood pressure monitoring
- monitoring of body mass index
- loan of crutches, wheelchair, or heating pad
- individual, group, and couples counseling
- women's health services one day a week
- clinical laboratory procedures for pregnancy, mono, strep, urinalysis, glucose monitoring, blood tests
- limited STD testing
Services in regards to counseling are short term. The counseling aspect of the Health and Wellness Center also provides a biofeedback lab to help students with stress.
5. Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center
I had to make sure to include the library and technology center on campus. There are so many resources available for ATU students in just this one building. At some point, you are going to have to write a research paper, and the library's website offers access to all of the content you will need. Along with this, the website will also help you with formatting citations properly. If you need a book and the library does not have it at the moment, you can utilize an interlibrary loan and receive the book you need in about a week.
Need to study or finish course work? The library has a spot for you. There are designated spaces for a lot of talking, minimal talking, and no talking. The library also provides rooms that students can reserve for quiet study space or group projects. An anonymous texting line can be used if you have someone sit next to you who does not seem to know how much talking is or is not allowed. You can read more about that here.
Within the library, there is a media lab that is open to the entire Tech community and offers incredible multimedia production tools from the powerful Adobe Creative Cloud to professional music composition and audio production software. Each computer workstation has dual monitors for increased workflow. Patrons can:
- work on graphic design and video projects
- compose, print, mix, and master original music electronically
- digitize analog recordings
- create marching band drills
- listen to and watch DVD and BluRay videos on course reserve
There is also an audio lab that is open to current ATU students, faculty, and staff where they can:
- record their voice for podcasts or film narrations
- record their piano or guitar playing
- mix beats and pop songs
- post-produce pre-recorded audio files with high-quality mastering software
Arkansas Tech University is dedicated to student success, access, and excellence as a responsive campus community providing opportunities for progressive intellectual development and civic engagement.ATU Mission Statement
The resources made available to students by ATU prove the mission statement to be true. These resources go beyond providing a space to study. ATU offers a place for you to seek mental and physical help in regards to your personal health, a place for you to seek help with your coursework, and most importantly a place for you to be included.
By: Spencer Hurlbut
Spencer is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in History. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from ATU in May 2020. Spencer works as a graduate assistant for the University Testing and Disability Services. In her free time, she loves to dance and bake desserts. After graduation, she aspires to teach high school in Arkansas.