Cook Library 524
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 reading placement test is administered by Towson University's Academic Achievement Center for transfer students and incoming freshman with low SAT and ACT scores. The reading placement test is part of a suite of testing products commonly referred to as ACCUPLACER® tests. These tests were developed by the College Board to help colleges and universities accurately assess student skill levels.
All admitted freshmen with an old SAT score less than 500 in critical reading, new SAT score less than 550 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, or an ACT Reading score less than 21 are REQUIRED to take the reading placement test. A reading placement test score below 251 in NEXT generation or 80 in Classic will require a student to enroll in and complete REED 102. Unless exempt, all transfer students with fewer than 30 credits are required to take the reading placement test.
Exemptions from the reading test are listed below.
- Old SAT Critical Reading score of 500 or higher
- New SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score of 550 or higher
- ACT - Reading score of 21 or higher
- Transferring 30 or more units (credits)
- Non-native English speaker (ESL) who has completed the TOEFL
- Transfer students with 10 or more units and less than 30 units (credits) who transfer a 100-level college English course equivalent (see below, information for transfer students) to ENGL 102 with a "C" or better
For additional information regarding the Reading Placement Test, visit our website at www.towson.edu/aac/services/testing/
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.
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.
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 www.towson.edu/aac/services/studygroups.html
Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction (SI), designed at the University of Missouri- Kansas City (UMKC), is an academic model that uses peer-facilitated study sessions for students taking historically difficult courses. SI sessions are offered for select BIOL 191, BIOL 221 and CHEM 132 sections. The SI sessions are free, regularly scheduled, informal review sessions, and develop organizational tools. These sessions are led by SI leaders; who are students who have previously taken the course and done well.
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-level and a select number of upper-level 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
Coordinator: Kelli McClelland, 410-704-2291
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-level computer science courses through drop-in tutoring.
Spence Mathematics Tutoring, 7800 York Road, Room 109
Coordinator: Cody Cassiday, 410-704-3283
Assists students who are enrolled in developmental and lower-level 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-level biology, chemistry, physical science and physics courses through drop-in tutoring.
Music Tutoring, Center for the Arts 2087
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.