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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Academic Help

How can I help my son or daughter if he or she calls in a panic on the night before a major exam? 

This scenario is not uncommon, especially during the first semester, and it can be hard for you to maintain your composure and to say something helpful in such a situation. Please remember that many new students initially tend to be overly anxious and will likely do better than they fear. In fact, it’s not uncommon for parents to lose sleep after such a phone call, only to discover the next day that their student did fine and scarcely remembers having been anxious at all.

What you can do as a parent: You can probably help most by expressing your confidence in your son or daughter, by reminding him or her of past success in meeting academic challenges and by emphasizing the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Your words may be reassuring. It may also be helpful for you to talk with your son or daughter after the exam (regardless of how well it went) about how he or she might prepare more effectively for the next exam. In this way, your son or daughter may be able to avoid or reduce test anxiety in the future. In any event please impress upon your child that UC has structures in place to help them. Your child is not alone and should seek help.

Is tutoring available to students, and how can they get a tutor?  

In our experience, if a student is doing poorly in a single course but well in others, the student may only need to adjust his or her approach in that one course. Tutoring can be an important part of an overall strategy for improving his or her performance.
The first step students struggling in a course should take is to speak with the instructor about their status in the course and to ascertain whether tutoring (or some other strategy) will help.
The Learning Support Services office offers students tutoring in a number of introductory courses in the sciences, mathematics, economics, computer science, and communication. For it to be as effective as possible, your son or daughter should apply for the assistance of a tutor as early in the semester as possible. Note: student-athletes should keep their coach informed.

What you can do as a parent: It’s important for your son or daughter to understand as clearly as possible why he or she is having trouble in a course. Encourage him or her to meet with the instructor, seek tutoring, if appropriate and available, as soon as it becomes apparent that he or she is struggling in a course, and seek general help from the Learning Support Services office and his or her mentor. Often times students have trouble adjusting to the new freedom university life allows and simply do not attend class. This sounds odd to some parents and they do not even think to ask about going to class. We understand that you cannot force your child to attend class, but we appreciate a gentle nudge toward getting out of bed and into the classroom.

Emergencies and Missed Work

What should we do if there is a family emergency?  

If an emergency arises at home that requires a student to leave campus, the student should notify the Dean of Students’ Office immediately. If possible, he/she should also try to let instructors know why the absence is unavoidable. If a student must leave quickly or is unable to reach one or more instructors, the student can request that the Dean’s Office notify the instructors and ask them to show the student consideration.

What you can do as a parent: Encourage your son or daughter to notify the Dean’s Office 304-357-4745 if a serious emergency situation arises that impinges upon his or her academic work. The Dean’s Office will notify his or her instructors if necessary.

What happens when a student misses class due to illness?  

Students are expected to attend classes regularly and to complete assignments on time. However, when a student becomes too ill to attend class or to complete a piece of assigned work, he or she should speak with the instructor(s) and explain the reasons for the absence or missed work.

What you can do as a parent: Encourage your son or daughter to speak with his instructor(s) as soon as possible after an injury or illness that prevents him or her from meeting academic obligations.