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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo

Our View: Academic necessities

Why students should seek help

Would you turn down the opportunity to seek support from qualified professionals?

The Echo Editorial Board believes that the services Taylor University provides, such as the Writing Center and the Academic Enrichment Center, are incredibly valuable.

Kelli Cummings, assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center, said students can come and get help with their writing. This could be anywhere from brainstorming essay topics to looking for higher order concerns like structure, thesis statements, source usage and grammar assistance.

However, she said that receiving help from the Writing Center is more so about learning from grammar mistakes and how to format in MLA than just pointing out errors. 

“The Writing Center is a place where the student is going to grow as a writer,” Cummings said. “We will help make an essay better, but we do want to teach the student the mistakes that they're making so that way they can just continue to improve and write a better essay next time.”

She said the Writing Center is a collaborative environment between students and tutors, highlighting how excited tutors are when reading student papers.

Other reasons why students should use these services come from post-appointment surveys. For example, students most commonly note how comfortable they feel about coming to the Writing Center, how helpful the sessions are and how confident they feel regarding their writing afterwards. In fact, 56% of students who make appointments make multiple appointments a year, Cummings said.

Scott Barrett, assistant director of the Academic Enrichment Center and coordinator of accessibility and disability resources, said he works to provide reasonable accommodations to make sure students can be as successful as possible. This can often include those who had an Individualized Education Program or 504 plan in high school.

An IEP explains the type of special education a student needs to succeed academically, including instruction, supports and services. A 504 plan gives disabled individuals needed support and covers any condition that majorly limits daily activities.

Barrett said he hopes that everyone would find an opportunity to connect with the various services available in the AEC.

“We have the Transition to College program; there's some advising that happens here,” he said. “We’ve got free tutoring for just about any class. We also do just kind of general academic support, so if a student is looking to find ways to be more successful, we’d love to connect with them and help them think through how to problem solve what they’re facing.”

Students can sign up for appointments through the Writing Center and for tutoring, he said. Appointments are typically available within the next few days, but students should be proactive because their schedule may not always match the available times.

Cummings said the Writing Center is popular, especially around exam and paper deadlines.

“There’s a distinct ebb and flow of when assignments are due,” she said.

She wishes all students came to the Writing Center, emphasizing it as a place for every major where each paper is viewed holistically. Students are able to book appointments online at However, Cummings recommends that appointments be made in advance.

Barrett said students are welcome to set up an appointment with the AEC or email if they need additional support.

“We hope that it’s really intrinsically motivated, that students are acknowledging that they want to do their best, and so they’re seeking ways to do that — seeking ways to use the gifts and talents God has given them and to really improve them,” he said. “So whether that’s a student who is getting a B and wants to get an A, or that’s a student who’s getting a D and wants to get a C, we think that we all have ways that we can grow and improve our learning.”