The days of index cards, encyclopedias and rows of books are long gone. So is the librarian who patrols her library and scolds those talking too loud. From research techniques to citation preferences, the librarians at Rasmussen College possess a wealth of knowledge to help improve a student’s academic experience.
“I think more and more colleges are trying to provide better library and learning center services, but we [Rasmussen College] are definitely on the cutting edge,” said Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen, Librarian at the Rasmussen College Wausau campus.
LaSee-Willemssen’s desk is in the middle of the library’s working space. Much of her time is spent meeting with students, whether that’s in the library, on the phone or live chat.
“The library might be empty, but I’m still helping students,” said LaSee-Willemssen. “Sometimes, I Skype® with our students who may be struggling with research papers or navigating their electronic textbooks. I also make a lot of individualized videos to email to students.”
Librarians at Rasmussen College not only help students navigate online resources for academic research, but they also answer APA formatting and citation questions, as well as review papers for grammar and misspellings. They also host regular online workshops or webinars for students who may need a little extra guidance on a variety of topics; for example, how to set up your computer for college success or how to write a great discussion post in an online class.
“We [Rasmussen College Librarians] are doing a lot of things other colleges are talking about, and we’re doing it well” said LaSee-Willemssen.
Each of Rasmussen College’s campuses is supported by members of the Librarian and Learning Center (LLC) team, on campus and/or online. The team’s strong commitment to and skills in technology ensure that support. LaSee-Willemssen works closely with her on campus counterpart, the Learning Center Coordinator, as well as other members of the LLC team, to support all Rasmussen College students.
LaSee-Willemssen says she gets to know her students and tries her best to make them feel comfortable to reach out for help.
“Asking for help can put a student in a vulnerable position, but afterward they are always glad they did,” said LaSee-Willemssen.
LaSee-Willemssen went on to say that most of her relationships with students are made online, even by mail.
“I often send books back and forth with students,” said LaSee-Willemssen. “I never see them face-to-face, but I know what they need to be successful. We [librarians] are truly available in every avenue.”
Sometimes college students need a little extra attention; that one-on-one tutoring to help get them through a tough class. That’s where an academic tutor comes in. At Rasmussen College, academic tutors are available to help you succeed – both online and on campus. Often times, they’re students themselves in the same degree program, taking the same courses.
“As a Student Ambassador, students were always coming to me for help,” said Cherise Weiss, Academic Tutor at the Rasmussen College Wausau campus. “I figured, why not become an academic tutor and have the title.”
Weiss has been tutoring students at the Wausau campus since October, 2011. The School of Design student is going for her Digital Design and Animation Bachelor’s degree. She most often tutors design students, but she also helps students struggling in their general education classes, such as college algebra. She’s available three days a week in person, on the phone or through instant messaging.
“The number one thing I help students with is how to use the design software,” said Weiss. “I don’t do their homework for them, but they can’t do it if they don’t know the tools. I remember struggling in the beginning myself. That’s why I want to help.”
Weiss remembers helping a fellow student who got sick and missed a couple weeks of class. When he returned, Weiss showed him a tool he wished he knew about sooner.
“He told me his coursework would have been 10 times easier if he knew about that tool earlier,” said Weiss. “Some students don’t get it right away, which is fine. I have patience, and it’s always easier to learn the software and tools when someone is there to walk you through it.”
Weiss is just one of several academic tutors at the Wausau campus. They all have different office hours, but Weiss says the tutors will call each other if a student has a specific question about an area of study they’re not familiar with. Along with 24/7 assistance for introductory algebra and college algebra, academic tutoring at Rasmussen College also includes tutoring assistance seven days a week in English, anatomy and physiology, economics, general chemistry, biology and Spanish. Students can also get spelling, grammar and writing help.
“All the academic tutors have an e-mail system in place, so no question goes unanswered,” said Weiss.
Along with the satisfaction of helping others, Weiss says tutoring helps her keep up to date on the design programs she uses in class.
“Sometimes we use a program in the first quarter and then don’t use it again until quarter three, but don’t remember how to use it,” said Weiss. “I’m constantly showing people how to use our programs from quarter to quarter, helping me become a better tutor.”
As a student nears the end of his or her degree program, it’s time to start looking for a job. Up next in our five-part series on student support, you’ll hear from a career services advisor who is dedicated to helping students start their career. You’ll also hear how an alumni association supports graduates in their careers for years to come.
Did you miss part two? Click here to read how program managers and student financial services advisors support students. Then, check out part three on student advisors and technical support specialists.
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