Academic Achievement Center

Cook Library 524
Phone, 410-704-2291
Fax: 410-704-3216
Director: Liz Scarbrough

The Academic Achievement Center (AAC) provides academic coaching, academic success strategies workshops, Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) sessions, study group assistance, tutoring services, and reading placement testing at Towson University. The AAC is a comprehensive academic support program and university-wide resource serving the undergraduate student population. The mission is to support the university’s retention efforts by teaching the necessary skills and strategies to help students become successful and independent learners. We provide student-centered services for improving academic performance, as well as other supplemental educational opportunities. All services are free of charge.

Reading Placement Testing

Coordinator: Kimberly Graham

The Academic Achievement Center administers a competency test in the basic skill of reading comprehension for entering freshmen with a SAT Critical Reading score less than 500 and an ACT Reading score less than 21. Additionally, transfer students without a 100-level college English course (equivalent to TU ENGL 102) and less than 10 units will be required to test.  Students who need to test will be notified through email with instructions on how to register for the Reading Placement Test. Testing must be completed before their first term.

Towson University uses ACCUPLACER® which is a suite of computerized tests that determines knowledge in reading comprehension and various other areas. Students who place into REED 102, which is our reading enhancement course, must complete it by the second term of enrollment.

Exemptions from the reading test are listed below.

  • Critical Reading SAT I score of 500 or above
  • ACT-Reading score of 21 or above
  • Transferring 30 or more units (credits)
  • Non-native English speakers (ESL) who have completed TOEFL
  • Transfer students with 10 or more units and less than 30 units, who transfer a 100-level college English course equivalent to ENGL102 with a "C" or better

Updates and exemptions regarding the Reading Placement Test will be reflected on the Student Center “To Do List”.

For additional information regarding the Reading Placement Test, visit our website at

Academic Coaching

Academic coaching is available by appointment. Increased proficiency in fundamental skills is provided through strategies that facilitate success in college. During individual appointments students have the opportunity to complete the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI). This allows students to evaluate their attitudes, motivation, time management, anxiety, concentration, information, processing, test strategies, and more. Enrichment strategies are recommended after students complete LASSI.

The Strengths Quest Inventory by Gallup is also available. It is designed for college-age students to assess their top five talents and identify ways to apply their talents academically.

Academic Success Strategies

Academic success strategies workshops are offered each term and address the topics such as learning style preferences, goal setting, time management, note-taking, reading and comprehension strategies, Web tools and apps,  memorization, testing strategies, math anxiety, assessment of academic performance, and exam preparation. Individual appointments can be scheduled for academic coaching upon request.

Study Group Assistance

The AAC helps students facilitate study groups that provide additional academic support for various courses. Study groups are designed to improve out of class study habits and academic behavior. Study groups are intended to be task-oriented study systems that require students to employ active learning skills in small group settings. This is not tutoring; students are expected to complete out-of-class assignments and group practice items for the purpose of mastery and bring what they have learned to each group meeting. Students are aware that class attendance combined with the commitment to regularly attend group meetings is expected. Study Groups are designed to encourage collaborative and active learning while supporting peers in the same subject areas. For more information, visit

PAL Sessions

PAL sessions are small group study sessions facilitated by experienced peer tutors. Each session is focused on a specific topic students find challenging and allows time for practice.  PAL sessions are available for select business, mathematics and science courses.

Tutoring Support Services

Peer tutoring support and strategic study skills are provided for Towson undergraduates. Tutoring is available mainly in small group sessions, for many lower-division and a select number of upper-division courses. Services are available on a first-come, first-served basis and depend upon the availability of a qualified tutor. Students can request up to one hour of tutoring weekly per course when group appointments are available. The tutor training program is internationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) through level-3/Master tutor.

Business and Liberal Arts Tutoring, Cook Library, Room 524


Provides small group appointment-based tutoring for students enrolled in lower-division business, economics, foreign language, and behavioral and social science courses.

Computer Science Tutoring, 7800 York Road, Room 407

Coordinator: Richard Webster, 410-704-2424

Assists students who are enrolled in lower-division computer science courses through drop-in tutoring.

Spence Mathematics Tutoring, 7800 York Road, Room 105


Assists students who are enrolled in developmental and lower-division mathematics courses through drop-in tutoring.

Natural Sciences Tutoring, Smith Hall 538

Coordinator: Liina Ladon, 410-704-3054

Assists students who are enrolled in lower-division biology, chemistry, physical science and physics courses through drop-in tutoring.

Music Tutoring, Center for the Arts 4037L

Coordinator: Mr. Troy King, 410-704-4378

Provides tutoring for students enrolled in undergraduate music history, theory and musicianship courses. Tutors are matched with students to work individually or small groups on select, predetermined topics.