CAARS provides tutoring, workshops to students

The Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services serves the purpose of helping UNA students achieve academic success. CAARS provides a variety of services to students, including free tutoring, advising and academic counseling.

Heather Unger-Robertson serves as a learning support coordinator and academic adviser for CAARS. She and the CAARS staff provide support and assistance to UNA students.

“In general, CAARS provides services primarily for students who are having difficulty academically,” she said. “We provide tutoring for any 100 or 200-level class. We try to always have someone on campus to tutor in those classes. Beyond that, it can be hard to find tutors for 300 and 400-level classes. I organize the tutoring, and I meet with conditionally admitted students.

“On top of tutoring, we also have study skills workshops. We offer the workshops to everyone on campus, and we encourage students who are having trouble to attend them.”

She said the workshops, which are free to UNA students, cover time management, textbook reading, study skills and note taking.

UNA student Josh Newell is one of the tutors for CAARS.

“I can’t say enough about what a great experience it has been working for CAARS,” he said. “The people working behind the scenes, from Heather Robertson to Laura Hardin, and everyone else in between, are phenomenal. I have worked as a tutor for two and a half years now, and it has been the most rewarding job I have ever had.

“I know first-hand that CAARS has been very beneficial to a lot of students on this campus. I hope that, going forward, more students would take notice of the great programs that CAARS is running. Whether it be through walk-in or one-on-one tutoring, advising or workshops, these programs could provide a major boost to a student’s academic success.

“From my perspective, it’s all about students helping students. You don’t get that kind of supportive environment just anywhere.”

UNA student Mike Losey said he benefited from the tutoring he received from CAARS.

“I am extremely grateful for the math tutoring, as I was able to avail myself of the walk-in tutoring and also the one-on-one tutoring,” he said. “Because of the help, I was able to not only pass math, but I actually made a solid A, with a final grade of 94.

“I struggled with learning all the new concepts and am quite sure that, without the expertise and patience of the wonderful tutors, I would not have made it. I think this program is proof that, if one is willing to do the work, anyone can do well with the right help.”