What is the Student Academic Support Center (SASC)?

The Student Academic Support Center (SASC, aka “Sassy”) offers academic support for all Bates students. In particular, we provide tutoring (drop-in and appointment-based), learning strategies workshops (time management, study skills, note-taking, etc), and structured help sessions (CAT Sessions) for courses with the highest demand for support. We are located on the Ground Floor of Ladd Library.

What happened to the Math & Stats Workshop and ARC?!?

In Summer 2023, the Mathematics & Statistics Workshop and the Academic Resource Commons merged into one center, now called the Student Academic Support Center. All support is now located on the Ground Floor of Ladd Library.

You’ll be pleased to know that SASC still provides the same services previously offered by the MSW and ARC!

How do I use SASC?

You can meet with a tutor, study independently, work on your homework, review your notes, find new study buddies, meet up with study groups, chat with a tutor or professional staff member about learning strategies, or do any other work for your classes. Keep an eye out for announcements for our Workshops.

Don’t underestimate the value of talking to tutors who have been through the same course. They have content knowledge and insights to share on the best strategies for success in that course!

Similarly, there’s value in collaborating with students taking the class alongside you. While you may not have time to build those relationships in class, SASC provides a welcoming space to engage with your classmates on a specific concepts.

Is SASC a quiet study area?

Given our large open-floor-plan on the ground floor of Ladd, SASC is not guaranteed to always be a quiet study space. Mornings and early afternoons are likely to be the most quiet. Whereas, during peak times of support (especially evenings), SASC is a lively, social, vibrant place for working in collaboration with other students.

However, there are designated zones in this spaced shared by both SASC and SWLC that are reserved for more quiet 1-1 interactions between students and tutors.

Do I have to meet with a tutor? Or can I just sit in the space to study?

This space is open to everyone. We ask that you sign-in when you enter our space. While doing so you can specify if you are here for drop-in tutoring, a private appointment with a tutor, to attend office hours for your professor, or to sit in SASC while you study. Many students enjoy studying in SASC because tutors are readily available to help out if questions arise.

What if what I want is a quiet one-on-one meeting?

We believe deeply in a collaborative model of tutoring, where the tutor and student can interact as peers. We hope you’ll give the group nature of our drop-in center and CAT sessions a fair chance to succeed.

In addition to the regular help sessions offered by your Course-Attahed Tutor (CAT), your CAT is also available to meet for 1-1 or small group appointments. Refer to their weekly reminder emails for instructions on how to set up an appointment.

Similarly, we invite you to let us know if your needs are not being met by the combined support offered through drop-in tutoring and services offered by the CAT, we’ll do our best to figure out an alternate arrangement–whether that be meeting with a tutor 1-1 or meeting with a professional staff member to better assess your needs.

Why do I need to log in to use the space?

We need to know usage patterns, so that we can respond accordingly. For example, if there are many students logging in for Econ tutoring at a time when we only have one Econ tutor working, we will use that information to ensure sufficient tutors are available at times of high demand.

Second, we want to know if our services work, so that we know how to make improvements.

Third, we use visitor usage data as a means of demonstrating to the College that this service is valuable, well-used, and deserving of continued funding!

Who are the peer tutors?

Peer tutoring means students helping students. Our tutors don’t have PhDs, they’re not experts, and they’re not professional tutors. They’re students who were in the same class as you a semester or year or two ago, and they figured out some useful strategies for getting through it. SASC tutors are individuals with a high degree of empathy, and they’re great communicators. They’ve received training from SASC on peer tutoring pedagogy and they are excited to approaches and study tips for your course.

What if the help I need isn’t offered by SASC? How will I know where to go for help?

Whatever you need, if it’s academic support, the front desk at SASC is a good place to start. The students at the front desk are knowledgeable not only about our services, but also services offered by our partners around campus. SASC is a one-stop for academic support, and we’re committed to getting you to the support that you need.

Do I need to make an appointment?

No. For most classes, you can just stop by the drop-in center. When signing-in you can specify whether or not you want immediate support or if you’d like to set up an appointment. The Resource Representative at the Front Desk can help you identify if/when your course has regularly scheduled Help Sessions with the embedded Course-Attached Tutor (CAT).

Additionally, you are welcome to request an appointment with a professional staff member to discuss learning strategies or methods for addressing your support needs.

How do I know when help is available for my course?

Hours of availability for each of the topics and subjects that SASC supports will are listed on the SASC Hours website.

What if the class I need help in isn’t listed?

Let us know. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to offer support for every class at Bates, but if we know there’s demand for a course, we’ll do everything we can to meet it.

What should I bring to SASC?

We encourage you to bring any materials that help you focus on your coursework. Any such items might include: your textbook, class notes, laptop/mobile device to access Lyceum, calculator, and a list of questions for which you need help.

What do students say about the services we provide?

“Welcoming, resourceful, friendly, helpful and educative.”

“I returned for more help after my initial visit because of the excellent help, skilled workers, and the friendly, receptive environment.”

“The tutor was really helpful about re-explaining confusing concepts to me. She frequently used and referred to my class notes and homework. This was helpful and allowed me to clarify confusion from class. Thank you for such a great service with such accommodating hours!”

“I got individual attention from my tutor that I couldn’t get from the class. Throughout the semester, my tutor recognized my abilities. He helped me to focus on my strengths and to improve my weaknesses. He was patient enough to listen to what I was trying to say.”

“The big tables force you to sit with other people you may not know which I really like because it makes it a more collaborative space and everyone is always very helpful and nice!”

“CAT really help with difficult problems and working through the solutions, but most helpful was them suggesting study techniques that helped them when they took the course.”

“If I would get stuck on something, a tutor was always very useful because they knew what questions to ask to lead me to the right answer.”

“The fact that it’s college students help me be able to ask questions without feeling judged.”

“My tutor’s greatest strength was to demonstrate what is actually happening in a problem. Not only could he teach me how to solve a problem, but he could also explain the underlying mathematics.”

“Hearing from peers and their struggles/advice has been incredibly helpful. They build a great community!”

“They helped break down my chemistry problems and explain it in simple terms rather than making me feel bad and stupid for my questions.”

“I used to gather together with my classmates to do CHEM 108 homework in [SASC] and it increased the bond between us.”

“The diversity and the friendly manners that all tutors have.”

“I was able to understand and complete the math problems in my Environmental Studies class. My tutor asked questions to guide me through each problem step by step, while still making me solve it on my own.”

“I usually go to [SASC] on the days leading up to an exam and the tutors are always very helpful for my review process.”

“Having 1-on-1 with someone who understands the content provides me with immediate feedback and allows me to move through my material faster.”

“When I was deciding to be a physics major, I was struggling in the intro level physics class, but after constantly coming to [SASC] and talk to other physics majors they gave me really good advice on what classes to take first, and how to practice on my own. I was certain then about the major.”

“CAT sessions for organic chemistry have exponentially improved my understanding and learning in practice.”

How can I become a tutor?

Visit the employment page. We look forward to seeing your application!

Where can I find useful resources and handouts?

We have a variety of digital resources available on the For Students section of our website. Additionally, you can pick up hard copies of our most popular handouts at SASC.