by Abby Crowell, Distribution Manager
The Center for Academic Success, or CAS, is a safe haven for students who need assistance with tutoring across a plethora of subjects at Manhattan College. CAS has recently adopted a new online scheduling system for students to make appointments for tutoring sessions.
In the past, students would have to call, email, or go into the office in order to schedule an appointment; the system makes it easier for all involved.
Students can access the system through the CAS website, as well as “Quick Links” under the “Schedule a Tutoring Appointment” tab which can be found on MC’s website.
The new online system includes the tutoring offices located in Thomas Hall and the Leo Center.
CAS purchased the new software from a company called Twenty Six Design, a software that well known schools such as Harvard University and St. John’s University already have in place.
Sujey Ramos, the Associate Director of CAS promotes the advantages of the new system, “Students can now access this system from any device with internet, it shows a live depiction of schedules at all of our centers at any given time”.
Ramos believes this new system will work better for students due to its easy access. After registering, students pick a date and time that fits for them. “Now students are not limited to the hours of the office to make appointment, they could be in a different state at 3 AM and still pick the appointment that works best for them”.
One of the new aspects of the system includes the “wait list feature”, which will notify students through an email or text if a tutoring slot becomes available.
Ramos is optimistic that the new system will bring in new students that do not frequent the center, “We really want to see half of the MC population. It’s great for commuters so that they can plan ahead”.
Elizabeth Metsch, a senior at MC holds the position of the office manager in the learning commons.
Metsch stated that the new system is beneficial to all parties involved, “As a manager, the system is really useful for the administrative end of the Learning Commons because we can run more reports and it collects data so we can better track how students are using the resources we have available. I also think it is just nice for students to have more control over booking their appointments at their leisure.”
Metsch is confident that once students realize how easy the system is to use, an influx of students will put the CAS tutors to greater use.
“Our biggest hurdle, I think, will be getting everyone to make the initial account. After using it once or twice I think people will get the hang of it, but the beginning transition period will be a bit of a learning curve for sure.”
The CAS tutors now have the responsibility to keep track of attendance on the website, however, most tutors look forward to the old system becoming modernly digitized.
One of the tutors, Nicoletta Freese who is a senior at MC stated, “This approach is very beneficial to everyone. The students have a more convenient method of signing up for appointments and the tutors have an easier way to see what students are coming in for which class…There is a new policy that only one person can see one tutor at a time one day a week, and this system will help manage that”.
Kevin Donald, a senior at MC, is also a CAS tutor. Donald recognizes that this system requires more effort from tutors but stays optimistic, “It puts more responsibility on us tutors to sign in students and keep track of their individual schedules, but I think that accountability will result in more engaged tutoring”
The new system also includes tutor biographies which will give students insight on a specific tutor’s availability as well as a glimpse into their lives and interests, Donald believes it’ll help students decide which tutor is best suited to help them with their work.
CAS has many students who depend on the center for help with their school work, one of the regulars is Emma Bedeker who finds the new system more convenient and efficient.
“I think the biggest issue with the past system was the time it took to make or change appointments…you could sometimes wait in line up to ten minutes if there were other students making appointments or going to study hall”, says Bedeker.
Another frequent visitor at CAS is Aedan Roney who advocates that he has always had great experiences in making appointments at Thomas Hall and says the staff is always very helpful.
Roney expects that more MC students will now take advantage of CAS’s resources, “I definitely think more students will use the tutoring system now that it’s online. I know plenty of people who haven’t gotten the help they needed because they’re embarrassed to make appointments in person, and this will take that worry away.”
Although there were no problems with the past system, Ramos is always persistent in improving CAS, “We strive to continuously improve services. Nothing was broken with the old system, but we felt we could continue to do better”.
Office Assistants in Thomas Hall are available to help students register for the new system, and walk ins for appointments are still permitted.
The center opens for the semester next week, they already have 15-20 appointments scheduled from the new system.
The learning center is open from 9 AM- 8 PM Monday through Thursday and 9AM- 3PM on Fridays, located in Thomas Hall.