U-Turn continues academic success effort for CSU students

Elena Waldman

Midterms have approached and students are gripping on for dear life as they get hit with projects, essays and exams. It isn’t easy being a student; while many appear to have everything under control, balancing social life, school and work can be difficult.

Centerpieces for the upcoming U-Turn event are put together and on display for the event planning crew. U-Turn is being held at the TILT building. Photo by Bianca Torrez

For students who are struggling academically and otherwise or who just want to improve their skills to excel at CSU, the Technical Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) hosts U-turn: A One- Stop Shop for Academic and Transition Success.

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U-Turn focuses on giving students resources to help them get on track with personal counseling meetings and academic workshops. Students are also encouraged to participate in the 25 minute workshops that will be occurring from 12 pm to 3 pm, which provide information on study strategies, time management and test-taking skills.

For students, it’s the opportunity if you’re having challenges, to be able to find those resources and build a plan that works for you…to be able to share your story with someone who listens and is just helping you without judgment.”-Lory-Ann Varela, Director of Academic Affairs at the Institute for Learning and Teaching

People attending the event will first fill out a personal assessment highlighting their strengths and possible areas that need improvement, then meet with a navigator who will help them build an action plan and guide them towards different resources on campus that will be useful to them going forward. 

“We have close to 100 volunteers who are staff all across campus who are coming in and doing different shifts to meet with students,” said Lory-Ann Varela, director of Academic Affairs at the Institute for Learning and Teaching. “Students who may not be meeting expectations yet get an invitation that they can set up an appointment time, other students sometimes on request will get appointment times, but you can just drop in.”  

The goal of U-turn is to help students who are struggling to turn their academic performance around when there is still enough time left in the semester. The program works with CSU professors to assess student performance so that students that aren’t meeting certain academic expectations can be reached out to and accommodated.

U-Turn will be held 10 am to 4 pm October 9 in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballrooms A and B. More information is available at tilt.colostate.edu.

“If they [professors] can provide some early assessments during those first four weeks so that a student gets a sense of how well their study strategies and behaviors are, then they can still modify some of that in time to turn things around before it’s too late in the semester,” said Becky Villalpando, the Director of Outreach and Support in the Collaborative for Student Achievement. “We try to align things so that a student knows early on if there appears to be concerned and can meet with someone and take action.”

Since it was brought to CSU almost 10 years ago, U-turn has nearly doubled in attendance size due to its positive response from students and faculty. Though it is tailored towards helping people meet academic expectations, it also helps students in many other areas of their academic life.

“For students, it’s the opportunity if you’re having challenges, to be able to find those resources and build a plan that works for you,” Varela said. “And to be able to share your story with someone who listens and is just helping you without judgment. I think that’s an important life skill- you do it here, you do it on your own, you do it throughout your life.”

Elena Waldman can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @waldmanelena.