Gonzaga Preparatory School

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ASC provides solid ground



The Academic Success Center truly meets students where they are.


Students are taking on challenges of all sorts in the ever-changing learning landscape during the pandemic. The Academic Success Center is solid ground for both those struggling and those seeking to excel.


With shorter class periods this fall, the ASC serves well to provide more insight and get a deeper understanding of what’s being taught in class. Half days of teacher-led instruction have really opened up opportunities for students to seek help outside of class, says ASC director Danny Pearson. And if it’s not a student’s cohort day, they can still make an appointment to come in. 


Access to help is more available than ever. A new "ASC Live" link connects students with a tutor or teacher via on-demand Google Meet. And a scheduling system brought online last year has made access simpler and available to all, including students at home. Students can schedule a time to meet—either in person or via Zoom—and the program will connect students with one of 50 peer tutors.


Senior Meghan Nulff tutors to help her classmates develop good study skills, and in turn, it helps her solidify her own basic understanding of subjects. "This year you have to be more creative in how you show a student how to work the problems," she says.


Freshman Maria Shug started spending time in the ASC after learning about it in Freshman Seminar class. As an Honors English Student she wanted to get a good start and connected with a junior who’d taken the class as a freshman.


“I want to be better prepared for college, and learn some tips and tricks to be more successful. It helps that Mr. Pearson is there checking in with us too.”


“It’s also a good place to get to know upperclassmen and find the people to help you grow and learn the best,” Shug says.


Junior Ephraim Watkins is a tutor for the first time this fall, assisting classmates in AP U.S. History, Spanish, and Algebra. “I do it because I want to help the way I’ve been helped. It’s been a good experience.”


Watkins also focuses on organization. “If someone is organized, that sets them up to succeed. Everyone has that capability.”


His advice? “Don’t be afraid to get a tutor even if you are not struggling. It’s not a bad thing. I think every student should use the ASC to their full advantage.”


The ASC provides the support of two other faculty members in addition to Pearson: Joe Tombari for math, and Christian Birrer, who leads the writing lab. Over the summer, the ASC website was reorganized to include more than 200 online resources for students, including 100 for the Online Writing Lab.


“We’re here and we can accommodate all levels of support," Pearson says.


The ASC is open Monday through Friday from 12:15 to 3 p.m.


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