Achieving Success in the Scary Subjects

By Gregory Ramsey, Student Advisor

It takes some courage to enroll in a degree program knowing that you will one day have to take a class about which you have no prior knowledge. Even worse, you may have to take a class in a subject that you have experience in, but never completely understood. Student Advising often hears complaints like, “How will I use this class in my career?” or, “What does this subject have to do with my degree?” The vast majority of our students have that one class they dread, and still are required to struggle through and succeed in before earning their degree.

The fact of the matter is that every degree program has requirements, and sometimes the classes you are dreading as a student can surprise you and end up providing valuable assets to your skill set. I always hated math as a student, but without it I would not be able to help students stay on track academically.

In every class, no matter what the subject or situation, your first resource for additional help should be your instructor. These individuals are all highly trained and knowledgeable in the subjects they teach. They may be able to provide one-on-one assistance, or point you towards resources that are accessible and easy to understand. When your instructor alone is not enough, though, do not panic. There are other options.

For those students who struggle in a certain subject, there is a lot of help available. We have resources available through the Virtual Campus itself to help students through these classes. For example, the Learning Center tab in the Virtual Campus can lead you both to learning labs and to tutoring. There are live chats and tutoring sessions available for a wide range of the classes offered at CTU. The learning labs offer live chats at least once a week that really reinforce the topics you should be covering in your classes. Just like in your classes, these chats are archived in case you cannot attend them as they are happening. For English help, the best learning lab is “The Writing Center.” For Math help, “The Math Lab” can be invaluable. There are many labs available in many subject areas.

In addition to the resources that CTU provides through the Virtual campus, CTU has partnered with a third-party tutoring company that can offer a lot of help in English and Math as well. Smarthinking.com is a website that hires teachers with an average of nine years experience to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All CTU students have access to this site. When you’re really struggling to get a concept, or you waited until the last minute to attempt an assign-ment or for any reason need a little extra help, a Smarthinking.com tutor is available and quali-fied to assist you. Smarthinking.com is used by nearly 300 universities, and students at all of them credit success on individual assignments to the dedicated tutoring staff they have.

So, even if you are apprehensive about taking a certain class in your degree program, know that you’re in good company. Most people feel that way about some class or subject area. The real mark of success is when you reach out to the resources available to you as a student, despite that fear, and take advantage of them. And the reward is not just the degree, but also the feeling of accomplishment, and the new skills you acquire by learning the material and passing the class.


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