Student Support Services & Accommodations Webinar | Rider University

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Learn more about the resources and accommodations Rider University provides to all students, including online students.

Transcript

AJ Arroyo:

Good afternoon, everybody. My name is AJ. I am one of the enrollment advisors here at Rider University. I just want to give everybody a quick thank you for joining us today, as we discuss a lot about our student support services and accommodations that we have available here at Rider. Very quickly, I would just like to take a second and introduce our enrollment team here. So you can see myself again, AJ Arroyo, I’m one of the enrollment advisors. We also have Miss. Valeria Benard, Mr. Paul Eames, Miss. Cathy Rodriguez, and Mr. Noel Sepulveda. So very quickly, I do want to let everybody know we do have a live Q&A box available. So if during today’s presentation you have any questions, feel free to throw those in there. And then I, or one of our special guests today will be able to answer those for you today. I am joined by four very special guests. We have Barbara Blandford, Shane conto, Amy Atkinson, and Joanna Blume. Barbara would like to go ahead and introduce yourself?

Barbara Blandford:

Certainly. Welcome everyone, I’m Barbara Blandford. I’m director of student accessibility and support services here at Rider University. I’ve worked in post-secondary education for many years. Most of those years have been working with adult students who have disabilities. And I would really look forward to working with any of you listening on this webinar, as you might need accommodation or support services as you’re managing your education here at Rider University.

Shane Conto:

Hello everyone, my name is Shane Conto. I’m the assistant director at the academic success center at Rider University. A little bit about myself; I’m a two time writer grad. I have my undergrad and masters of accountancies from Rider, and this is going to be my fifth year as assistant director, and I’ve been working at the academic success center since I was a student in 2011. That’s off to my colleague.

Amy Atkinson:

Hi everyone. My name is Amy Atkinson, and I’m the writing studio manager. I have been working at Rider since 2014. I began as a professional tutor within the writing studio, and got the good fortune of becoming the coordinator in 2016. I look forward to working with everybody and hopefully have everybody take advantage of our services, so thank you. I’m now going to pass it off to my other colleagues.

Johanna Blume:

Thanks Amy. Hi everyone, my name is Johanna Blume. I go by Jojo. I’m the assistant director of success programs, also based at Rider’s academic success center. Like Shane, I’m also a two time writer and grad. However, my higher education career is relatively new. I’ve been in the field now for three years, so I’m hoping for many more years to come and thanks for having me. I’m going to pass it right back to Shane.

Shane Conto:

Thank you, Jojo. And I’m going to be talking a little bit about the program that I supervise, Subject-Based Tutoring. So at Rider University, we offer content tutoring for basically any course that you might take at Rider. And we have a range of different kinds of support, whether it be individual or small group by appointment tutoring, where students can sign up for appointments and meet with our student and professional tutors, as well as more intensive forms of support that are offered for specific historically difficult courses. But for the most part, the majority of our tutoring is by appointment. And if there isn’t a tutor already available for a specific class, we have a tutor request form that students can fill out. And I take that request, I reach out to faculty. I get recommendations and recruit tutors for the class to make sure that the students have some form of support.

Shane Conto:

And if we can’t find someone who specifically had that class, for some of our graduate classes, we do have professionals including myself, who’ll jump in and work with students. And there’s a variety of different ways that you could set up appointments. But the two main ways that I want to talk about, we have our system TutorTrac, which is available where@tutortrac.rider.edu. Students can log in using the Rider key and sign up for appointments. But the main way, and we really encourage you, just shoot an email to academicsuccesscenter@rider.edu. It’s up there on the slide, so if you have any questions about content-based tutoring, or you just want to make sure you get an appointment set up, please feel free to email us. I’m going to be passing things along to Amy, and she’s going to be talking about writing.

Amy Atkinson:

Hey. Hi everybody, hello again. I am going to talk a little bit about what the writing studio offers. We have both peer and professional tutors that work within the writing studio, offer writing support across the disciplines actually. So it’s not necessarily just English-based courses. We tutor writing for business, science, psychology, sociology, many different subjects. We’re lucky enough to work with students across the disciplines. The peer tutors are undergraduate students who have done very well in their writing intensive classes, and very well overall. I am typically the one who trains them, but I also have faculty come in and work with the student tutors as well, especially cross disciplines because there’s different conventions for different types of classes. And then the professional tutors have anywhere from a bachelor’s degree up to their doctorate. And we’re very fortunate to work with them.

Amy Atkinson:

They work not only with writing, but reading strategies, study strategies. We have an ELL specialist, so those who are English as a second language. And so, one of the important things I want to say is that when students either submit a paper through our online writing lab, where tutors can review that paper, make comments and suggestions, and email it back, we also can do Zoom and Google Meet tutoring sessions. We got a crash course in that in the spring, and it worked out really well. You typically can share a Google Doc and be working on it at the same time. But you don’t have to have an entire paper written in order to have an appointment. Sometimes it might just be an assignment, and you want to help work with someone to help break down that assignment, brainstorm, maybe even start to create an outline. And then our hope, is that you’ll come back at least a couple of more times before you submit a paper.

Amy Atkinson:

So we have that process, we look forward to working with everybody. When Shane described different ways to make appointments, also on this slide is the writinglab@rider.edu, where students send in their request for both individual appointments that can happen via Zoom or Google Meet for now, and then also for the online writing lab where students submit a paper. They attach a paper to an email, give us the course name, professor name, what they hope that we can help them with, and even attach an assignment. And then we get a tutor to review that paper, like I said, make comments and suggestions, and send the paper back. But I think for now, that’s all I have to add. And then of course, I look forward to any questions. So I’m going to pass it off to Jojo now.

Johanna Blume:

Thanks Amy. So as I mentioned, I’m Jojo, and I am assistant director of our success program. And something that I want to talk to you today is how some of our three success programs, is success coaching, which is open to all Rider’s students for now. We are also hosting Zoom sessions, Google Meet, phone call, texting. It’s awesome because coaching can really take place in any modality that works best for the student. Some of the things that we focus on in coaching are common topics such as time management, self-management, prioritization, looking at study strategies. But the best thing is that coaching really is focused on whatever the student wants to work on. Whatever you feel will help you reach your academic goals and really make the most out of your higher education experience, that’s what we’re there to help you plan and build upon. So we do resource referral just because we know how important other resources are on campus, especially the others that are on this panel with me in the ASC and within SASS.

Johanna Blume:

So we’re always there just to answer questions specifically about other resources on campus, but mainly goal setting and tracking. These goals don’t have to be tied to certain classes, they could be really about anything that you feel will make you a stronger student, and like I said, really get more out of your higher education experience. We partner very closely with Amy and Shane in terms of helping students get to tutoring, in case you’re not sure if that’s something that’s right for you. And in terms of our number of coaches, we actually have three. I serve as a coach. We have Liz, who’s our resident success coach, and we actually have Kyle as well, who focuses on STEM student success. So we each have our areas of expertise and we can help you get to the right coach based off of your needs. All you have to do is email the Academic Success Center, that email is there. And we’ll be sure to get back to you and find out exactly what you’re looking for. I believe now, I’ll pass it off to Dr. Barbara Blandford.

Barbara Blandford:

Thank you, Jojo. My office is the Student Accessibility and Support Services office, and we do a number of things to support your education here at Rider. One of the most important things that we do, is help students with getting their reasonable accommodations for their courses. So if you are a student with a disability and perhaps you have needed extended time on exams, that’s something that we would assist you with. But we also support students with having accessible materials. And what that means is, if perhaps you are a student who may have a hearing impairment, or you may be visually impaired, you may need to see and hear things in a different way from a person that does not have those impairments. So we help with making sure the materials that your professor uses are accessible to you, to make your learning easier and to make things more efficient for you.

Barbara Blandford:

You may be a student that is not sure how your disability impacts your education, or you may just have a lot of questions. That relates to the third bullet point, disability consultation. In my office, we are happy to help you with just talking about things. What impacts what? What do I need to understand more about myself, perhaps to get a better education or to do something in a better way? So consultation covers all of those particular areas, and we are happy to talk with any student regarding that. Some students are really interested in using academic coaching, perhaps working with a coach who supports them with keeping on track, managing time better, making sure their work is completed to the level that the professor expects, so we can support you in that area. So who qualifies? Any student who would like to identify themselves as a person with a disability and needing some support, can submit that information to our office, and then we will work with you to make sure we have all the information we need in order to help you with accommodations and coaching and consultation.

Barbara Blandford:

How do you connect? You can email us at accessibility@rider.edu. You can also go to our web page and we have a confidential self-disclosure form that you simply click on, and we ask you a few questions. And once you submit that form, that goes right to our office. So you can email us, or you can use that confidential self-disclosure form to begin the connection. And I too look forward to any questions and concerns that come up in the Q&A. Thanks, and I’ll pass this back to the team.

AJ Arroyo:

All right, thank you so much, guys. That was a lot of great information there. Just as a quick reminder for anybody who is listening and watching, all of these resources are not only available to students who are on campus, but also available to our distance learners as well. So if you’re in an online program, feel free to please take advantage of all the resources that we have to offer. Speaking of different programs that we do offer here at Rider, we do offer several graduate level programs. So everything from MBA, masters of accountancy, health communications, business communications, we also offer different leadership programs in organizational leadership, even athletic leadership. And then even into our undergraduate programs, if you’re looking to complete an undergraduate degree. Maybe you’ve started one in the past and you’re looking to finish, or you’re looking to start a bachelor’s program. We offer in different areas including health, health sciences, and nursing. We do offer liberal studies, business administration, and then we also have the psychology programs that we also offer.

AJ Arroyo:

So definitely something for everybody, and different approaches to lots of these different subjects. At this time, what I’d like to do is we can open it up to the Q&A session. So if anybody has any questions, please feel free to go ahead and throw that into the chat, and we’d be more than happy to go over that. Let’s see, first question that we have… This one might be for you, Barbara, “Where do I find the self-disclosure form after I fill it out? Does that get sent out of Rider University?” So I guess they’re asking, does that get evaluated by any kind of third party?

Barbara Blandford:

Oh no, it does not. So that self-disclosure form is simply a form where we gain basic information about you, and it goes directly back to the Student Accessibility Office. No one on the outside of our office sees that form, only us.

AJ Arroyo:

Very good. Yeah, making sure that we keep all that information as secure as we can. It looks like I have a question here. Jojo, you might be a great one to answer this one, “Does the Academic Success Center offer any career services?”

Johanna Blume:

So that’s a great question. So the Academic Success Center itself does not offer career services. However, we share the suite with Career Development, and they are in charge of [inaudible 00:16:22] and making sure that students are tied to a career advisor who can help them with everything from resume formatting, resume workshops, preparing for an interview, mock interviews. So I’m sure we can get that information out in terms of their links to their writer page, and the email to career development.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome, thank you very much. Also, we have another question here, “What is the correct email to contact tutoring?” I know that we have that on one of the previous slides. What would be the best way to go about contacting tutoring, Shane?

Shane Conto:

So the safest bet is sending an email over to academicsuccesscenter@rider.edu and for content-based tutoring success coaching, I know Amy brought up, and on her slide, the writing lab at writinglab@rider.edu as well, specifically for writing. If you send anything over to the academic success center email, we’ll make sure that it gets forwarded to the correct person to make sure that you get the support that you need.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome, thank you very much. So making sure that everybody gets the information that they need. Now, Shane, another question for you here, “What subjects have tutoring available? Is it only a handful of subjects, or what tutoring is available for students?”

Shane Conto:

So at Rider, we try to make sure that we have tutoring available for basically any course. We have around 150 student workers who work for our department, who tutor for a course and professor specific. Most of our tutoring is in Norm Brodsky College of Business for say, accounting and statistics. We do a lot of tutoring for the sciences, whether it’s bio and chemistry, and in College of Liberal Arts, doing a lot of history, tutoring psychology. So in terms of undergraduate courses, we do our best to make sure that we have tutoring available for any class.

Shane Conto:

When it comes to the graduate classes, we do the same process, sometimes a little bit harder to get a student who’s available to tutor for the graduate courses. So we do have professionals, including myself, who jump in and work whether it’s specifically for the [inaudible 00:18:56] or strategies for those courses. I know even over the summer, I’ve been doing tutoring for some of the MBA quantitative courses, specifically statistics and operations management, through their math courses. So, we want to make sure that we have student tutors or our professionals lined up to support any class that you might take at Rider University.

AJ Arroyo:

So that’s a great point, Shane, I actually do have a question in here about that. So, there is tutoring available for graduate level students?

Shane Conto:

Absolutely. And if a student comes in and needs support for a specific graduate class for content, and we don’t have a tutor already lined up, I’ll do the same process of reaching out to faculty. And like I said, I might jump in if it’s specifically a business course, or if we can’t find someone specifically for that class, we do have our professional tutors that can work on strategies for the class as well.

AJ Arroyo:

Fantastic. Fantastic, thank you. I know that’s definitely a question that we get, especially with a lot of our students looking into MBA and math programs, so that’s good to know that they have that resource there. Let’s see, we have one other question, “What times are tutors and also including the other writing center, what time is everybody available? Do you guys work on a set schedule, or how does the student go about making those appointments in those timeframes?”

Barbara Blandford:

Shane, you want to talk about it first?

Shane Conto:

Yeah. In terms of timing for tutoring [inaudible 00:20:44], we have tutoring going on seven days a week. So we offer tutoring during the week, in the evenings, on the weekends. And specifically, especially now going into the fall semester, our support is going to be offered primarily remote. There is a lot more flexibility in terms of when we can set up appointments because we don’t have to specifically worry about space. When we’re working out of our suite normally, we have hours from 9:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night, Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 to 5:00 on Friday. And on the weekends we offer blocks of times, specifically Sunday evenings. And during the afternoons, say Saturday and Sunday, where we do normally have sessions lined up in person.

Shane Conto:

But I just want to reiterate, going into the fall semester, primarily our support is going to be offered remotely, which the advantage of that would be we can be flexible as long as our tutors are available and the students are available, we can figure out session times for students. I don’t know Amy, if you’d want to add anything to that specifically?

Amy Atkinson:

I was literally writing in the chat box, that the Writing Studio follows the same structure. Yeah, it does. Especially as far as the flexibility is concerned. Because we do have, for instance, undergraduate writing tutors, and they too have… They’ve got their own coursework, but oftentimes they’re available in the evening, they’re available on the weekends. And so that’s where it’s helpful, when students want to request tutoring help or an [inaudible 00:22:33], they can write to the writinglab@rider.edu and either Deb Keller, our administrative specialist, or myself, will make sure that we match them up with a tutor and get them the support they need.

AJ Arroyo:

Fantastic, fantastic. Thank you so much for that. I’ll open it up real quick, just a last call for any questions any students may have in the chat. All right, looks like we got one here. So this one’s asking about entry requirements for the MBA. And then also… I can’t read the question here, I’ll be one second. Can you take the program fully online with the option to visit campus, for clarification?

AJ Arroyo:

So as far as actual requirements for the MBA, very briefly, you’re going to need to submit the application. Of course, we’re looking for students who are coming in with the GPA of at least a 3.0. There are different other requirements as far as prerequisites that may need to be met, and GMAT, and whatnot. So for more information on that, I would recommend speaking with an enrollment advisor, then we can have a little one on one time and get those requirements clarified. As for being able to visit campus, under normal circumstances, absolutely. While our online programs are offered 100% online, that does not mean that you are excluded from anything on campus. You are your Rider student regardless if you’re in a lecture hall or on your computer, so all of these resources that we’ve been going over today are definitely available to you as well, so a great question. So again, any last minute questions coming from the group?

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome, all right. Well, listen, I want to thank everyone for joining us, all the students out there taking time out to listen to us. Thank you so much to all of my guests today. This has been a great experience talking about all the different resources that we offer here at Rider. For everyone that is in attendance today, I just want to let you know, we are currently accepting applications for the fall semester, so definitely give us a call. You can contact us at (877) 856-5140 or you can email us at admissions@online.rider.edu or you can feel free to schedule an appointment on our live vCita page there. So use all that information to communicate with an enrollment advisor, and we can definitely go over more of the program information for your program choice.

AJ Arroyo:

Thank you so much for joining us today, bye everybody.

Amy Atkinson:

Thank you.