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Peer Advisors are students who have been selected and trained to offer academic advising services to their peers through fact-based advising.  They serve as a knowledgeable academic resource throughout the summer and/or academic year to enhance student access to academic support services, teach students about academic support technology, and encourage informed decision making for students. Peer Advisors are positive role model for their peers and are an integral part of the Academic Advising and Planning Center with their involvement in activities such as New Student Orientation and Quick Question Drop In.

Left to Right are:  Tradd Tobin, Chakeem Blake, Mary Boyd Barefoot, Elizabeth Buckley

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The U.S. News & World Report, which ranks colleges and universities, recently named the College of Charleston’s First Year Experience program as the number 10 such program in the country.

Read the College Today article HERE.

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Sam Kalista ’17 wants to hear you laugh – especially if you’re in the audience when his 10-minute play, Kenwood, is performed at the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

“I am excited to see how my vision is interpreted on stage – and to know how the audience reacts,” says Kalista, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston’s four-year REACH Program for students with mild intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. “It will be good for me as writer to get that feedback. I would like to hear a good laugh from the audience.”

Read full article at The College Today

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CofC Academic Advisors Recognized with Regional Awards

Posted by: Erin Blevins | February 14, 2017 | No Comment |

Laura Suggs, advisor in the Academic Advising and Planning Center (AAPC) at the College of Charleston was selected as the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 3 2017 Excellence in Advising -New Advisor for South Carolina.  NACADA explains that this award “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students and who have served as an advisor for a period of three (3) or fewer years.”   Laura will receive her award during the Awards Luncheon at the Region 3 (SC, TN, WV, KY) NACADA conference being held in Raleigh, NC in April.


Karen Hauschild, Director of the AAPC, will also be attending the NACADA conference.   Karen was awarded a Harriet Hurt Travel scholarship that will help fund her travel to attend the conference.  NACADA explains that this scholarship is “presented to a Region 3 NACADA member for volunteer service to Region 3 and NACADA.”

“We are excited to represent the College of Charleston at the Region 3 Conference in Raleigh, NC in April 2017.  We look forward to bringing back ideas to advance advising in our Center and at the College.”  Karen Hauschild

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Quick Question Drop-in Advising Spring 2017

Posted by: Erin Blevins | February 7, 2017 | No Comment |

The Academic Advising and Planning Center (AAPC) will be offering Quick Question Drop-In Advising Hours from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday through the end of the semester for students who have questions about changing their major, withdrawing from a class, selecting a minor, etc.

No appointment is necessary. Students can simply just stop by the AAPC office.

Lightsey Center, 2nd Floor, Room 247

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Religion to Real Estate, Freshman Courses Run Gamut

Posted by: Erin Blevins | January 20, 2017 | No Comment |

For the spring 2017 semester, freshman at the College of Charleston had the opportunity to choose from three dozen unique courses as part of the College’s First Year Experience Program (FYE).  

Click here to read the full article in the The College Today.

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Cougar Countdown Helps Settle Exam Stress

Posted by: Erin Blevins | December 7, 2016 | No Comment |

Held each semester leading up to and during exam week, Cougar Countdown offers students a respite from final exams. Activities and events include a mix of academic support, physical support, emotional support and fun.

Click here to read full article and Cougar Countdown schedule in The College Today.

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College of Charleston Peer Facilitars at the IUPUI Symposium.

College of Charleston Peer Facilitars at the IUPUI Symposium.

On Saturday October 1, 2016, eight College of Charleston peer facilitators from the Center for Excellence for Peer Education (CEPE) traveled to Indiana University –Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus to participate and present in a National Mentoring Symposium. This one day symposium was designed for students who serve as peer mentors in higher educational institutions.   Peer mentors from around the nation attended to network, enhance their skills and increase their understanding of effective methods associated with student development and mentoring. Conference sessions on relevant topics were offered throughout the day and presented by professional higher education staff, faculty and student leaders. Approximately 480 students, faculty and staff from throughout the country were in attendance.


The College of Charleston peer facilitators presentation was on “Peer Facilitators are #CharlestonStrong; Continuing the diversity conversation and healing process”  The presentation was divided up into sections so that all eight peer facilitators were able to present. Their presentation included these topics: Social Justice issues that affect everyone, the First Year Experience program at the College of Charleston, diversity challenges and opportunities at the College of Charleston, how to have a productive conversation about diversity, and a learning zone triggers activity.

Our College of Charleston peer facilitators were very excited to participate, learn from others and share their insights from the programs we have here at the College of Charleston.

Learning Zone Triggers Activity during CofC presentation.

“The Charleston PF’s are #CharlestonStrong and I think we showcased that individually and as a collective.  We had great feedback, both written and verbally, and we were able to showcase what we do in FYE and why it matters so much.  It was an amazing experience to interact with other peer educators and know that they too felt that issues like diversity and mental help were essential in first year curriculum. The PF team leaders are a tight knit group and I think after the trip to Indianapolis we became even closer.  There’s something about presenting in front of a group of people and knowing that in some way we are making a difference that brings us together.  And, I think that is something that’s so great about the CofC FYE program.  We’re a close group of students all working towards this common good and making a difference in the lives of our peers.”  (Marissa Myhill)

“Attending this conference was a wonderful learning experience because it gave us the opportunity to see new methods and techniques used by individuals who are trying to accomplish goals similar to our own here at CofC. I hope to be able to take some of these new perspectives and implement them into my teaching; especially the ice breaker activities to help all student engage in conversations.” (Dalton Shaak)

“The symposium was a great experience as a peer mentor as it helped me to gain greater insight to how other colleges operate in terms of peer education models. I really enjoyed IUPUI!” (Jessica Lassiter)

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Computer Science Tutoring Lab now available

Posted by: Erin Blevins | September 8, 2016 | No Comment |

CSCI lab We are pleased to announce the opening of the walk in CSCI Tutoring Lab this fall, a partnership of the Center for Student Learning (CSL) and the Computer Science (CSCI) department.    We will offer 25 hours of tutoring each week in the CSL Computer Science Tutoring  Lab, staffed by majors in CIS, CITA, CS, and Data Science. These 6 tutors will also serve students in the non-major CSCI courses.   Interested in the CSCI lab schedule?   CSCI tutoring lab schedule

This new initiative is one of a number of collaborative efforts to address courses of concern in the School of Sciences and Math. It is our hope that offering a wide range of walk-in tutoring  hours each week, in a comfortable, familiar group lab setting, will be a more attractive and less effort-intensive option than our previous ‘by appointment’ method. Most students are very familiar with utilizing the CSL services, and thus the addition of CSCI tutoring in a walk-in Lab setting should make for an easy transition.

The CSL is grateful for the collaborative efforts of the SSM and,  in particular, CSCI chair Sebastian van Delden for his generous support and endorsement of the Lab.  And of course a huge thank you to the CSCI tutors, who have been enthusiastic, willing, and flexible, and worked with us throughout the summer to create a diverse schedule of tutoring in the majors.

(written by Lindy Coleman, Interim Director,  Center for Student Learning)


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Urban Garden Offers Beauty, Bounty, and Learning

Posted by: Erin Blevins | August 16, 2016 | No Comment |


The Urban Garden in the Lightsey Courtyard represents the Academic Advising and Planning Center’s philosophy of working holistically with students to help them discover their passions, talents, and goals as they create their path to graduation and lifelong learning.  The garden was commissioned by Diane Bowers, Associate Director of the AAPC in spring of 2016, to “enhance our understanding of natural processes and food sources, and bring added beauty to this side of campus.” The garden has proven not only to put the AAPC and students more in touch with nature, but also with each other. The space is quickly becoming a space to meet students and even other College of Charleston employees.

In the summer of 2016, Diane partnered with Maggie Szeman, Academic Advisor, Ryan Mears, Office Manager, and Liza Wood, Assistant Director of First Year Experience (and who just happens to have a Masters in Organic Farming) to set the garden on a path to be used as a service learning component to a First Year Experience (FYE) class. Maggie Szeman connected the UGarden to downtown-based service site Neighborhood House to become a recipient of the garden’s bounty. Neighborhood House’s missions is  “to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth for people in need in our community through education, wellness and outreach services,” which closely aligns with the mission of the UGarden.

Seed TrayLiza Wood contacted Sociology Professor, Dr. Idee Winfield, who is teaching the FYE class “Sociology of Food,” during the fall semester about adding the project to her class, and Idee found the idea of the UGarden and the service aspect proposal interesting, ultimately agreeing to include it in her curriculum. The students will be responsible for planning, tending, and harvesting the garden and then connecting with Neighborhood House to provide the harvested food for their soup kitchen, as well as finding different volunteer opportunities with the organization’s Monday Market and gleaning project.

Written by Ryan Mears, Office Manager,  Academic Advising and Planning Center




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