Friday, October 9, 2015
The Northern Illinois University College of Law anticipates having an opening for one Legal Writing/Academic Success Program Instructor:
The Legal Writing and Advocacy Course is a core course in the first and second-year curriculum at Northern Illinois University College of Law. The four-credit, two-semester course is structured to help first and second-year law students acquire and refine the basic legal writing and analysis skills fundamental to the successful completion of law school and to the competent practice of law. As a secondary goal, students in Legal Writing and Advocacy are also introduced to other skills and topics important to the practice of law, including oral communication of legal issues, interviewing and counseling, professional responsibility, and motion practice.
In addition to, and in conjunction with the Legal Writing Program, Northern Illinois University College of Law assists law students in achieving their greatest potential through the Academic Success Program (ASP). There are numerous components to ASP throughout the course of the students’ academic career at NIU Law. As part of ASP, all 1L students participate in the Introduction to Legal Skills course during the second seven weeks of the fall semester. This course is taught by the Legal Writing/ASP faculty and introduces students to exam-preparation, study skills, synthesis, and analytical writing. Further, as part of ASP, select incoming 1L students are required to participate in a Jump Start Orientation program the week prior to the 1L Orientation. These students are instructed in basic analytical and rule development skills during a week of writing-intensive course work taught and implemented by the ASP Instructors. Further, select admitted students are invited to participate in the 1L ASP based on objective criteria including undergraduate GPA and law school admission test scores. Participation is a mandatory condition of admission for students who meet certain criteria determined by the faculty. Students participating in the program attend weekly mentor and study sessions conducted by upper-level student Graduate Assistants for their four doctrinal courses. 2L students with a GPA of 2.4 and below are required to participate in Upper-Level ASP, semester-long, one-hour, weekly, ungraded course taught by the ASP Instructors. The writing-intensive Upper-Level ASP focuses on exam-writing, outlining, and study skills.
The Legal Writing/ASP Instructors, together with the Co-Directors of Legal Writing and Academic Success, are responsible for the delivery of the legal writing and academic success programs at Northern Illinois University College of Law. The Legal Writing/ASP Instructors report to the Co-Directors of Legal Writing and Academic Success. This is a ten-month position within the University.
The responsibilities of a Legal Writing/ASP Instructor include:
- Teach the required Introduction to Legal Skills Course to first year law students
- Teach the required Legal Writing and Advocacy Course to first and second-year law students
- Plan and develop legal writing and legal skills problems for these courses
- Provide individual instruction to first-year students
- Grade and comment on legal writing and legal skills assignments
- Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of programs tailored to help ASP students reach their full potential
- Provide academic counseling to ASP students
- Assist in the hiring, training, and oversight of upper-class students who serve as Graduate Assistants for ASP students
- Assist in the planning and delivery of meetings geared toward developing general study and exam skills for the entire first-year class during the fall semester
- Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of the week-long academic orientation program for select incoming 1L students participating in the NIU Law Jump Start Program
- Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of the orientation program for the entire first-year class
- Cooperate and assist with other programs involving oral and written communication skills, including the second-year moot court competition and third-year external moot court teams
- Provide individual instruction to students selected to participate in upper-level ASP during fall semester
- Provide individual instruction to first-year students selected to participate in the exam-writing seminar during spring semester
- Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of Bar programs for upper-level students and alumni
- Assist in the continuing in-depth evaluation of both the legal writing and academic success programs and identify and implement program improvements
- Other responsibilities that may become necessary as determined by the Deans and program directors
NIU Law seeks applicants for one anticipated Legal Writing/ASP Instructor position.
Required qualifications include a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school, a valid license to practice law, strong writing skills, strong academic credentials, and a minimum of two years of teaching and/or practice experience.
Preferred qualifications include the ability to work well within a coordinated program structure, background or training in counseling or educational theory, the ability to work with a diverse student population and strong organizational skills.
Applicants please send a letter of application addressed to Interim Dean Mark W. Cordes stating qualifications, transcripts, current curriculum vitae, writing sample, and contact information for two professional references to:
Administrator, Office of the Dean
Applications will be received until the end of business day, Thursday, November 5, 2015.
In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check.
In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Wake Forest University School of Law (in Winston-Salem, NC) is hiring a Bar Success Coordinator and Adjunct Professor to work in the Academic Engagement Program. This is a staff/ adjunct position with responsibility for teaching the for-credit bar preparation course, providing individual counseling for repeaters, and working with faculty to develop teaching tools and methods that lead to improved bar performance. Here's the link to the position description:
GGU School of Law in SF is hiring an Assistant Director of Academic Development and Bar Services. This position is a full-time staff position and would make the fourth member on the team. They are beginning the interviewing process so interested candidates should apply right away. At GGU, academic support is fully integrated into the law school curriculum and they have a rigorous bar pass program. http://www.ggu.edu/jobs/
Friday, October 2, 2015
The 2015 Annual Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will take place on December 7, 2015, from 10:00 to 3:00, at the New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.
This conference provides a great opportunity to gather with colleagues in a supportive and collaborative environment to discuss our topic this year:
“Changing Students, Evolving Roles for ASP.”
We will explore ideas on issues surrounding our challenges as academic support professionals in light of the changing student body (e.g., initiatives to support the influx of students who are scoring lower on LSAT and GPA scales, increased promotion of formative assessment, bar support initiatives, etc.). We will be setting aside time for presentations, discussion, and workshop activities and look forward to making the most of our time together!
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Invitation to submit a proposal to the 2015 Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals
The 2015 Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals offers a great opportunity to present in a supportive and collaborative environment. NECASP welcomes proposals on works-in-progress from idea to fruition. The topic this year is “Changing Students, Evolving Roles for ASP.” We will explore ideas on issues surrounding our challenges as academic support professionals in light of the changing student body (e.g., initiatives to support the influx of students who are scoring lower on LSAT and GPA scales, increased promotion of formative assessment, academic standing issues and grading, etc.). If you wish to present a Work in Progress, the proposal process is as follows:
1. Submit your proposal by October 9, 2015, via email to Lisa Freudenheim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Proposals may be submitted as a Word document or as a PDF
3. Proposals must include the following:
a. Name and title of presenter
b. Law School
c. Address, email address, and telephone number
d. Title of Work in Progress to be presented
e. Abstract of your scholarly Work in Progress, no more than 500 words
f. Statement regarding the status of the work (whether in outline form, early draft, or near done).
g. Media or computer presentation needs.
If you have any questions about your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact me and we hope to see many of you in Boston later this year! And if you would like to attend but not present, please email Philip Kaplan at email@example.com to register for the FREE full-day event!
Monday, September 28, 2015
It is very easy for law students to get overwhelmed with the wide variety of study aids that are available both in hard copy and electronically. Here are some points to consider when choosing a study aid:
- What specific tasks do you want to accomplish with the study aid? You want to be clear about your purposes. Study aids fall into categories:
- commentaries explaining the law in depth
- outlines explaining the law with less depth
- very condensed summaries explaining the law with even less depth
- visual organizers to depict the law pictorially
- practice questions in various formats with answer explanations
- memory aids to learn rules and definitions
- combination study aids that include multiple categories of material
- How often should you use study aids? Some guidelines include:
- Choose the depth of explanation to match your depth of confusion. With more confusion, you need more detailed explanation.
- It is typically better to read a commentary at the time you are confused and not wait until later in the semester.
- It saves time to read just the topics or subtopics about which you are confused rather than everything covered in a semester course.
- Reading more than one commentary is usually inefficient because you gain little additional knowledge/understanding. Only read a second commentary if you are still confused after the first one.
- Complete as many practice questions as possible. Very easy practice questions may help you as you learn the material. However, you want to complete harder practice questions as you learn material more deeply.
- How closely does the study aid align with your professor's course? Study aids are typically written for a national audience and include topics that a specific professor will not cover. State-specific courses may not have as many study aids available - CA and NY being the exceptions that publishers seem to favor.
- Does your professor recommend specific study aids? Some professors list in their syllabi the study aids that they think match their course material or test questions best.
- What sources of study aids may be useful to you for lower costs? You may have more aids available than you realize:
- Your law school may have a study aids library for short-term circulation.
- Your law school may have a subscription to one of the publisher's electronic study aid collections.
- Upper-division students may have study aids to lend to you - be careful about the edition in case the law has changed.
- Your professor may have worksheets, practice questions, and other materials on a course website.
- Your law school may have an exam database with professors' released exam questions.
- Your state board of bar examiner's may post on its website various past exam questions for the state's bar exam subjects.
- Do other students who have had the course previously have suggestions on study aids? There are a few things to consider when they make suggestions:
- Their learning preferences may vary greatly from your own learning preferences.
- A professor may have changed books or the emphases in a course since they had the class.
- You want to test run a study aid if at all possible before purchase to see if it works for you - see the above point for some options to do so.
Study aids can be a valuable resource to law students. However, care is needed in the choosing so that the timing, task, and specific content are all considered. (Amy Jarmon)
Hat tip to James B. Levy of the Legal Skills Prof Blog for his September 25th post referencing his own SSRN article on teaching with classroom technology in law school and a forthcoming Australian book with a chapter on the myth of digital natives. His post can be found here: Legal Skills Prof Blog Post by James B. Levy. (Amy Jarmon)
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Position: Director of Academic Support and Bar Success
ALBANY LAW SCHOOL seeks applicants to direct and expand its academic support and bar success programs. The Director of Academic Support and Bar Success will administer and assess the existing academic success and bar success programs and recommend additions and modifications to the programs, focusing on initiatives to increase bar passage rates. The director may have other responsibilities as assigned from time to time by the dean and the associate dean for academic affairs.
Qualified candidates will have a J.D. with strong law school credentials and admission to the practice of law, preferably in New York. The position requires knowledge of legal theory, analysis and writing, and other skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar examination. Preference will be given for experience in academic support and bar preparation programs, administrative and supervisory experience, law teaching experience, counseling and tutoring experience, knowledge of learning theory, understanding of disability and multicultural issues, and ability to build rapport with students having academic challenges.
This is a full-time, 12-month, long-term contract track position with the beginning rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of Academic Success. The person who fills this position will be eligible for a five-year long-term contract after a probationary period of three years.
Albany Law School is the oldest, independent law school in North America with a long tradition of producing great leaders. We are located in the heart of New York State’s capital since 1851, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. Albany is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Boston, and Montreal, and is served by excellent highway, air and rail transportation systems. The institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. Several nationally recognized programs -- including the Government Law Center and the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center -- provide unique opportunities for students and faculty. With 17 neighboring colleges and universities, including a campus shared by Albany Medical College, Albany College of Pharmacy and Sage College, the school benefits from several joint degree programs as well as other associations. Students and faculty also work closely with New York’s highest court, federal courts and the state legislature, as well as a thriving tech-based economy.
Application (electronic preferred) should include cover letter, curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and three references and be sent to Faculty Recruitment Committee c/o Barbara Jordan-Smith, President and Dean’s Office, Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208-3494, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albany Law School is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Visit Albany Law School’s Website: www.albanylaw.edu.
Friday, September 25, 2015
This year's AALS Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, January 6 - Sunday, January 10, 2016. Note that these dates are later than usual.
The location is New York City. The co-headquarters hotels are the New York Hilton Midtown and Sheraton New York Times Square.
The Section on Academic Support business meeting will be on Saturday, January 9th 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. The Section's Program (Raising the Bar) will be on Saturday also from 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
For more information and to register, go to AALS Annual Meeting 2016.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
"Is the Bar Too Low to Get Into Law School?" is the headline in today's New York Times "Room for Debate" section. It posed the question: Why are so many law students failing the bar exam? This is a complex issue and as the different responses make clear, there is no simple answer.
The debate started more than a year ago. The July 2014 bar exam was one of the most exciting (and not in a good way) and controversial bar exams in recent history. It is widely known as Barmageddon or Barghazi due to a nationwide debacle on the first day of the exam. The first day is the written portion; test takers pay a fee ($100-$125) to use laptops and then upload responses through an outside company. Most jurisdictions use ExamSoft. Last year ExamSoft experienced a system-wide failure and test takers across the country were not able to upload responses. ExamSoft eventually fixed the problem but not until thousands and thousands of test takers had stayed up most of the night trying to submit their responses. To say it was stressful is an understatement.
By the time day two started, many test takers still did not know the fate of their responses- were they uploaded? would the jurisdiction accept them after the deadline? Day two of the bar exam is the Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE)- the multiple choice portion of the test that every state (except for LA) uses. It is created, scored and scaled by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and although it is only one part of the overall score, jurisdictions use it to scale the other portions of the exam. In other words, the MBE score is a big deal. The rest of the bar exam was uneventful. Until jurisdictions started posting results. Almost every jurisdiction reported historically low bar pass rates. This is when the finger-pointing began: Many law schools blamed the MBE, saying the test was flawed. The NCBE fired back, claiming takers were "less able" than in past years. Not many seemed to see any connection between Barghazi and bar scores.
Fast forward to July 2015. The NCBE added a seventh subject to the MBE but the exam itself is uneventful. No system failures. No Barghazi, part II. Then results started trickling out. Pass rates are lower than last year and so is the national median for the MBE. You have to go back more than twenty years to see a median score this low.
So, why are so many students failing the bar exam? Is it because law students are "less able?" Is it the addition of more material? Are law schools not adequately preparing students? Is the bar exam itself a flawed test? There is definitely "Room for Debate".
One of my students made me laugh today. We have been talking over the weeks about optimal study habits, her learning styles, her procrastination styles, the types of courses that are harder for her, organization and time management skills, and how to apply all of that knowledge to her studying to select strategies for each course to improve her skills for better grades.
She commented that she has so much more appreciation of how she has to learn in order to conquer the obstacles to her success. As she left, she declared, "I am getting in touch with my inner study nerd."
Have you gotten in touch with your inner study nerd?
A variety of aspects go into that concept:
- How you prefer to absorb new information
- How you manage new information presented in non-preferred ways
- How you prefer to think about and organize information
- How you manage new information organized in non-preferred ways
- How you expand your thinking to encompass different legal perspectives
- How your written and oral communication skills and styles mesh with legal communications
- How you manage your time for wise use of that time and the most results
- How you manage your environment to promote learning
- How you support your brain and body: sleep, nutrition, and exercise
- How you respond emotionally to challenges or lackluster performance
- How you approach/avoid asking for assistance from classmates, professors, or others
- How you find ways of procrastinating on your tasks, work, and decisions
- How you cope when life happens: illness, financial problems, etc.
If you are not sure you know your inner study nerd, visit with the academic support professionals at your law school. Chances are good that they can help you "get in touch" with assessments, strategies, and advice. (Amy Jarmon)
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Save the Date!
West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals
California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA
Friday, November 6, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
We all say to our students, “You’re going to have to do this as a lawyer.” Yet saying so is only the beginning, especially as “practice-ready” continues to be the buzzword driving legal education reform nationwide. Learn from your colleagues how to build practice-ready programming into academic support and bar preparation efforts, and join a discussion about how we can highlight our contributions to the practice-ready movement to our law schools and to the legal education community at large.
We are pleased to announce our keynote speaker, Karen Barbieri. Karen is a former California bar examiner and calibration session leader who will share her valuable insights on “practice-ready skills” from the perspective of the professional bar examiner. (Her comments will address all of us in ASP, not just those teaching at California law schools.)
Call for Proposals:
We are now accepting proposals for 45-minute presentations that show how ASPers have incorporated practice-readiness into their programs. Have you used a practice-centered exercise to build academic skills as well as contribute to the overall mission of producing practice-ready lawyers – for example, an interview simulation, sample oral argument, drafting assignment, client letter, or even a performance test from a bar exam? Can you share insights from participating in and grappling with practice-ready initiatives, such as learning outcomes and assessment efforts that examine practice-ready objectives? How have you handled changes to experiential learning requirements, and any challenges posed to required-course and early-bar-prep programs targeting at-risk students? Can you help inform colleagues as to how to promote such innovation to their home institutions?
These are just suggestions; we welcome all proposals relating to practice-ready legal education, from both ASP and “ASP-friendly” faculty. Though preference will be given to presentations that fit at least generally within this theme, if time and space permit, we also may be able to accommodate a few presentations on other topics of interest.
Please submit your proposal to email@example.com by September 28, 2015, and please include the following:
- The presenter(s) name(s), school(s), and contact information
- Whether your presentation requires outside equipment (e.g., PowerPoint projection)
- Your presentation title
- A description of your presentation (not to exceed one page)
- A short blurb (100 words) to include in the conference materials, if accepted
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I know from recent emails with colleagues that our calendars are beyond bursting. Student appointments, workshops, meetings, class time, committee meetings, and much more crowd our days. We go home exhausted and turn right around the next day for another go. Often we are working with too few hands for the tasks, too few funds at the ready, and too little recognition.
So why do we continue to do what we do?
Because of the students. They matter to us.
We want them to discover (or rediscover) a love for the law. We want them to learn. We want them to grow in confidence in their abilities. We want them to gain life skills: time management, organization, and more. We want them to see grades improve. We want them to pass the bar on the first attempt. We want them to graduate and do our law schools proud. We want them to be there to serve the under-served.
So how do we keep going against what some days are daunting odds?
I find that small blessings arrive just when I begin to feel worn out or discouraged at all that needs to be done.
- An excited student drops by to share news about a good test grade.
- A student thanks me for help with a study schedule that has made all the difference.
- A student remarks that my listening and encouraging really helped at a difficult time.
- An alum stops by to thank me for teaching him a skill he uses every day in practice.
- A thank you note or card appears in my inbox.
- A batch of homemade cookies is left on my desk.
We love our jobs because we realize we make a difference in our students' lives. And because they make a difference in our lives. (Amy Jarmon)
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Reading and analyzing cases are mainstays of daily life as a lawyer. Competence in these areas is critical. Law school is the place to learn these skills well. Students who only read when they will be called on or depend on canned briefs are short-changing themselves as lawyers and their clients.
Here are some tips for getting more out of cases:
- Before you begin reading the entire case, build a framework of knowledge within which to read. Do not skim the entire case, but instead ascertain key information quickly. By knowing these items, you will avoid confusion as the court lays out its reasoning.
- What court are you in? Federal/state and what level.
- What are the categories of the parties? Buyer and seller or landlord and tenant.
- What is the basic dispute? Widgets never delivered.
- What legal authorities will you be dealing with? Cases or statutes or both.
- What is the holding? Drop to the bottom of the case and find the holding which gives you the answer to the issue - the whodunit for the case.
- What is the judgment? Affirmed, reversed, etc.
- Chunk the case into natural pieces and deal with one chunk thoroughly before moving on. Read actively by focusing on a chunk and asking yourself questions about it after you read. Then write margin notes that capture the most important points for that chunk. Some of the natural chunks in a case are:
- Fact paragraphs
- Procedural history paragraphs
- Paragraphs about the same precedent
- Paragraphs about the same statutory language
- Paragraphs about the same policy
- Paragraphs giving the holding
- Judgment paragraph or sentence
- A separate concurrence
- A separate dissent
- At the end of reading the entire case, review all of your margin notes and synthesize them into the points that are most important about the case. Include the most important points in your brief.
- Some margin notes will "fall out" because of the court's preference for later discussion in the opinion.
- Or the court may have introduced a change in policy that affects the importance of earlier discussion in the opinion.
- Always think beyond the individual case that you read.
- Why did I have to read this case?
- How does this case interrelate with the other cases that I read for today?
- What does this case tell me about the subtopic/topic I am studying?
- Remember that judicial opinions are written for lawyers and casebook opinions are often edited. Lawyers read opinions with a great deal of legal knowledge and experience that you have not yet gained. The editor of the casebook may have edited out something that would help you in understanding.
- Give a paragraph three good-faith reads. If you still cannot understand it, put a question mark in the margin and move on.
- Something later in the case may help you understand the confusing paragraph. If so, go back and re-read the paragraph again.
- If you still do not understand the paragraph at the end, make a note to chat with a classmate about it. Listen carefully to class discussion for clarification. Ask the professor about it if you still do not understand and think it is an important part of the case.
- Realize that not all cases are created equal. Some cases are very dense and contain multiple issues, rules, definitions of elements, statutory interpretation, policy and more. Other cases are very narrow and contain just one brief point for you to take away.
- Editors may focus on just one aspect that they want you to pull from the case and edit out other material extraneous to that focus.
- Cases often build on one another. A series of cases may give the common law rule, definitions of several elements, exceptions to the main rule, etc. The cases work together to explain an area of law.
- Cases may build on one another to show the historical evolution of the law. If you know how the law changes over time, you learn how to argue for modifications and use policy arguments to support change.
By learning to analyze cases on two levels, you become more adept in the skills you need as a lawyer. Read for depth of understanding of the individual case. Then think about how that case can be used more broadly for understanding the legal specialty and to solve new legal problems. (Amy Jarmon)
Monday, September 14, 2015
The Law School Academic Support Blog has been awarded the Texas Bar Today Top 10 badge for Amy Jarmon's September 9th post Becoming an Expert on Your Professors' Courses. Thank you to the State Bar of Texas for this recognition.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Jon McClanahan, Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence at UNC, has posted a job announcement on the listserv. His description follows:
The UNC School of Law seeks to hire two full-time clinical faculty members to start in summer 2016. The person hired will teach two sections—each with about 17 students—of Research, Reasoning, Writing, and Advocacy (RRWA), a core first-year, two-semester, six-credit course. Other teaching opportunities may occasionally arise too.
The person hired will join the School of Law’s Writing and Learning Resources Center (WLRC) (http://www.law.unc.edu/academics/wlrc), which also operates an Academic Excellence Program. Our experienced team—Kaci Bishop, Alexa Chew, Luke Everett, Rachel Gurvich, Jon McClanahan (Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence), Wyatt Orsbon, O.J. Salinas, Craig Smith (Assistant Dean for the WLRC), and Sara Warf—is collaborative and creative. For example, we are using an innovative textbook written by Alexa Chew and our former colleague (now turned professional writer) Katie Rose Guest Pryal: The Complete Legal Writer (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming January 2016). In addition to guiding students with clear explanations and closely related sets of examples, the book uses a genre-discovery approach that promotes student autonomy by teaching a process for learning to write unfamiliar legal documents.
Friday, September 11, 2015
All of us in academic support and bar prep offer a variety of resources to our students. At times it is discouraging that fewer students than we hoped took advantage of a particular service that was offered.
But wait. Do we need 100% participation for an event or resource to have a positive impact? Sure, it is great if we can have mandatory programs. But few of us have that luxury for all students and usually have only a portion of our students who are required to attend.
Some students will complain that they are adults and argue against mandatory events. They would argue it is their choice to decide what to attend, what to access on-line, what to pick up as a hard-copy packet, or what to hit the delete button on. Until their grades flip them into a narrow mandatory category of at risk/probation, these students want to decide independently on their academic actions - not just whether to use ASP or bar prep resources but whether they will read for class or go to see a professor for assistance.
Mandatory versus voluntary is an on-going question because the students who most need to use resources often are the ones who do not use them. We all have students on probation who comment that they wish they had used resources the prior semester/year/years. The reasons why they did not use resources run the gamut: thought they were doing fine; thought everyone else needed the help but not them; did not like the day/time the workshop was held; forgot about the resources; had boyfriend/girlfriend/family/medical/work/other issues; could not find the office; did not want anyone to know they were struggling; were just lazy.
ASP'ers offer a variety of resources and formats to provide services in ways that might appeal to different learners and student needs. Below are just of few of the common options we offer:
- Voluntary summer programs
- Mandatory summer programs
- On-line summer programs
- Live workshops
- Videoed workshops
- For-credit courses - voluntary or mandatory
- Non-credit courses - voluntary or mandatory
- Writing across the curriculum with an ASP component
- Mandatory study groups
- Voluntary study groups
- Upper-division teaching assistants/teaching fellows/tutors
- Facebook information
- Twitter information
- Internet and intranet web pages
- Email study tips
- Official law school announcements
- Stand-alone ASP/bar prep workshops
- Workshops with student organization co-sponsors
- Workshops with bar review company co-sponsors
- Electronic packets of topical information
- Hard copy packets of topical information
- PowerPoint slide shows
- Formats with exercises, pair-and-share, and more
- Student panels on topics
- Faculty panels on topics
- Links to Internet resources
- And more
Boosting attendance? Food bribes work well until the budgets are cut (or students complain about too much pizza). Door prizes work well until the swag becomes same old-same old. And so forth.
So, here is the reality. 100% is not the only measure that matters. Having a positive impact for the students who choose a particular format/resource is legitimate. By providing options for a variety of consumers, we reach students where they are and when they want to partake.
My survey last spring on academic success resources reminded me that there are more students using resources each day than I may realize. There are a lot of "silent consumers" out there who use digital/hard copy packets and intranet/email resources; they just are not as visible as those who want appointments or attend workshops. The survey registered their appreciation for academic success services. It was a good reminder that options are important. The impact on each individual student through less visible methods was just as important an impact. (Amy Jarmon)
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Hat tip to my Texas Tech Law colleague, Natalie Tarenko, for forwarding the link for a WSJ article about understanding procrastination. You can find the article here: To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved. (Amy Jarmon)