Editor’s Note: Do you have a question about distance learning or coping with school in these challenging times? Each week Kelly Browning, an early childhood education/special education major and student ambassador at the Henry County Regional Academic Center, answers questions from the Mercer community. Email her at kelly.l.browning@live.mercer.edu or fill out our online form to submit your question anonymously.

Dear Kelly,

In a past article entitled, “Tips to succeed as a new Mercer student,” you recommended that students use the Academic Resource Center (ARC) to receive tutoring. The ARC has helped me tremendously in the past, but now that the office is closed due to COVID-19, how do I get the help that I need when face-to-face tutoring isn’t available?

I am a strong advocate for using the services provided by the ARC. As a new Mercer student last year, I had never written papers in APA style and became overwhelmed at attempting to maneuver APA on my own. I visited the ARC with a draft of a research paper I had written for one of the first courses I took, Instructional Technologies for Teaching. My tutor gave me excellent guidance and made suggestions on how I could improve my paper. After making the suggested changes and turning the paper in, I received a perfect score, and my professor commented, “This is exemplary; it just might be the best paper I have ever received for this assignment!” After that experience, I have often referred other students to the ARC and highly praised its services.

Through the ARC at Mercer University, students can receive peer and professional tutoring services, consultations for improving college study skills, and so much more. Normally, these services are available in person; however, with the current pandemic, the ARC is offering its services online. Through Canvas, students will still be able to access tutoring sessions, only they will do it through Zoom rather than in person. The important thing to note, however, is that summer online tutoring through the ARC is being offered in different ways to the two different student populations enrolled at Mercer. These are, one, the Macon campus traditional undergraduates and, two, the Regional Academic Centers, Atlanta campus and regular distance-learning students. 

I spoke with Tamar Cantwell, assistant director of the ARC, and she provided guidance on how to access tutoring services for each of the two student populations attending Mercer. 

Macon campus traditional undergraduates

“Normally, the Macon traditional undergraduate population is limited to in-person peer tutoring only,” Cantwell said. “In the midst of the pandemic, however, the ARC is offering online math, science and writing labs to these students for summer sessions, May 18-July 22.”

To access the online tutoring services:

  • Macon campus traditional undergraduate students must self-enroll in the Canvas module named Macon Campus UG Tutoring. There, students can easily access printable, step-by-step, self-enroll instructions, including screen shots. They will only need to register once, and then the tutoring module will appear in Canvas, alongside their other summer classes.
  • All three tutoring services are accessible within the single Macon Campus UG Tutoring module.
  • Math and science tutoring is available 6-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays via live Zoom sessions. Students can join these sessions using the links within the Macon Campus UG Tutoring module.
  • Writing tutoring is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students simply upload their work into the writing lab within the Macon Campus UG Tutoring module, and within 24 hours, one of the ARC’s writing tutors will review the submission and return it with feedback to help improve the student’s writing skills.

Atlanta campus, regional academic centers and regular distance-learning students

“We want these students to know that the math, science and writing online labs are always available to the Regional Academic Centers, Atlanta campus and distance-learning student population, not just during the pandemic,” Cantwell said. “Students will need to register to access these labs; however, for each lab, they only need to register one time. Then, our tutoring labs will appear in Canvas, alongside the classes that they are taking.”

To access the online tutoring sessions during summer session, May 18-Aug 10, check out these labs:

Online Writing Lab (OWL)

  • Writing tutoring is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • For information about the OWL, go to arc.mercer.edu/online-writing-lab.
  • Once enrolled, students can simply upload their work to the Online Writing Lab, and within 24 hours, one of the ARC’s professional tutors will review the submission and return it with feedback to help improve the student’s writing skills.

Online Math Lab

  • Through the Online Math Lab, students can work with a math tutor via live Zoom sessions to master concepts covered in their math courses.
  • The Online Math Lab is available six days a week. The hours of operation are: 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday; 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday; and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.
  • For additional information about the Online Math Lab, including a printable, step-by-step guide with screenshots on how to self-enroll, go to arc.mercer.edu/math-online-tutor.

Online Science Lab

  • Students can meet with a science tutor via live Zoom sessions to discuss topics from their chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry courses.
  • The Online Science Lab is available 6-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 
  • For additional information about the Online Science Lab, including a printable, step-by-step guide with screenshots on how to self-enroll, go to arc.mercer.edu/online-science-lab.

The ARC is a valuable Mercer resource which, according to its website, “helps Mercer University students attain academic success and degree completion by promoting independent, active and lifelong learning, scholarly achievement, and personal development.” 

To learn more about the Academic Resource Center and the resources and services it provides, visit arc.mercer.edu.

Good luck to you! As always, I wish you health, happiness and continued success throughout your journey!


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