CeCe Boyles, assistant director of the Academic Success Center, with two of her tutors.

Bill Hogarth’s blog: Students can get the help they need at the Academic Success Center

We are past the mid-point in the fall semester. It’s a good time for students to take stock – especially freshmen.

Are you where you want to be? Do you need to buckle down and focus on what it will take to succeed? Are you uncertain how to do it?

It’s not unusual to find yourself behind midway through a semester. It happened to me when I was an undergraduate at the University of Richmond. I went from a small town of 600 to a small university in a big city. It was a rude awakening. I wasn’t used to studying in high school or applying myself. But I got some guidance and some personal attention and got back on track.

I asked CeCe Boyles, assistant director of the USFSP Academic Success Center, to offer some advice for students, especially freshmen who are away from home for the first time and might be worried that they are falling behind.

At USF St. Pete, freshmen get mid-term grades, which sophomores, juniors and seniors don’t get. Think of it as an early warning system. Of course, warnings don’t work unless you heed them.

If you need help, start with your professor. After all, who knows best what it will take for you to succeed? Our professors really care and want their students to succeed.

But you can also get help at the Academic Success Center in Terrace 301. Tutoring and online programs are available to assist you. You can get help with an upcoming test, a paper or some particularly difficult homework. You’ll probably find other students just like you, maybe someone in one of your classes. Sometimes study groups are formed from chance meetings at the center.

Just don’t wait till the last minute. It might be too late.

And don’t ever think there’s a stigma about asking for help. Some of our best students go to the Academic Success Center because they want to get better. You feel better once you get back on track.

Success breeds success.

I’m glad I got the help I needed when I was an undergraduate. I hope you do too.

USFSP Added as Site for LSAT, ACT and SAT Exams

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 11, 2011) – USFSP is available as a site for college and law school entrance exams for the first time, providing access for students looking to take these exams in St. Petersburg.

More than 50 people took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) at USFSP on Saturday, Oct. 1. USFSP is only the second site in St. Petersburg to host the LSAT. The university will host the SAT and ACT college entrance exams on Nov. 5 and Dec. 10, respectively. Future test dates are determined by the organization behind each of the exams.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer pre-college students the opportunity to take the SAT and ACT at USFSP,” said Norine Noonan, regional vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It also offers us the chance to show these students our beautiful campus. Offering the LSAT is convenient and helpful both for our current students and others in Pinellas County who are seeking entrance to law school.”

Derrick Doss, assistant in the Academic Success Center, coordinated the applications for the university to become a test site and serves as the test site supervisor. Tutors from the Academic Success Center and volunteers from throughout the university serve as proctors.

USFSP has the capacity to host up to 108 test takers for the exams. As more classrooms become available on test dates, more capacity will be added. USFSP is the fourth site in Pinellas County to offer the ACT and the fifth site in the county to offer the SAT.

“For the long term we are going to look into becoming a site for other tests, such as the MCAT for medical school, the GRE and GMAT for graduate programs and other popular tests,” said Brenda Burger, executive director of the Academic Success Center. “We’re expanding, we’re growing and offering these exams will be convenient for our students and students of all levels throughout the area.”

The LSAT is typically offered four times a year while the ACT and SAT are typically offered six times a year. Tests will be held at USFSP in the Science and Technology Building, the newest classroom facility on campus.

National Association Accredits Tutoring Program

(St. Petersburg, Fla.) February 11, 2010 – The College Reading and Learning Association accredited USFSP’s Academic Success Center for its tutoring program. The center is one of three in the State University System to earn CRLA accreditation, an internationally recognized authority for setting standards for skills and training for tutoring programs.

CRLA chose the tutor-training program developed by the Academic Success Center as a national model and will feature the program on the organization’s Web site.

“It is a real honor for us to be accredited and recognized as a national model,” said Ruby Qin, managing director of the Academic Success Center. “We will continue to hold high standards in our operations and services, and continue to build one of the best academic support centers in the country.”

The Academic Success Center offers services to current and prospective USFSP students.

“Our Academic Success Center is a key element in a university-wide academic support and retention effort,” said Norine E. Noonan, regional vice chancellor for academic affairs. “This accreditation speaks volumes about both the quality of the service and the skill and dedication of the people who assist our students every day.”

The Academic Success Center at USFSP is dedicated to supporting academic excellence and innovation by providing students and faculty with a variety of resources. Through individual and group tutoring sessions, academic counseling, workshops, seminars, credit courses, graduate school application assistance, computer assisted instruction, and video instruction, the Center fulfills vital functions of promoting academic learning, innovation, and success. The Academic Success Center also works collaboratively with faculty to enhance instructional effectiveness and advising abilities.

Prospective undergraduate students can participate in SAT test preparation and prospective graduate students can participate in GRE/GMAT test preparation.

To learn more about the Academic Success Center, please visit