CAS Services

The Centers for Academic Success provide quality, free academic assistance to all students enrolled in for-credit courses at CSN. Services are provided on a drop-in basis, and integrated into select courses.

Tutors at the Centers for Academic Success include current and former CSN students, former educators, and current CSN faculty. Because tutoring is conducted on a drop-in basis, students can expect to meet with a different tutor each time they visit one of the centers. To ensure that students receive consistent, effective academic support, all CAS tutors receive training certified through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) , complete content-specific (Writing, Communications, Math, etc.) training, work with tutor-mentors, and attend regular refresher trainings.

 

Reading & Writing Centers

 

About the Writing Center

  1. WHAT is it? The CSN Writing Center is a free, drop-in space for writers to come and speak about their writing with a friendly and qualified reader. Writers can stop in during open hours of operation to talk about their project even before it starts and do not need an appointment.
  2. WHO helps? Writing Center Assistants are friendly and qualified readers that work one-on-one with any member of the CSN community who would like to discuss his or her written work. Assistants will actively engage writers in conversations about their work that help establish a personal writing and research process, draw out and express their ideas, organize their ideas, commit their ideas to writing, document sources, and revise for readability.
  3. WHO can use it? Writers of all kinds can visit the CSN Writing Center. Assistants are prepared to help writers from a variety of backgrounds and whose first language is not English, as well as writers who are writing about topics in multiple disciplines including Accounting, Anthropology, Art, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, English, ESL, Geology, History, Hospitality, Management, Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Transportation Technology. Assistants will also consult with writers on projects such as resumes, cover letters, college statement letters, and scholarship essays.
  4. What Can We Do For YOU? During your 30-40 minute consultation, the Writing Center offers free one-on-one assistance to you in all disciplines and at any stage of the writing process. No appointment needed! We will discuss:
    1. The teacher's instructions and requirements
    2. The deadline or due date for your project
    3. Your writing process overall
    4. Brainstorming ideas for your project
    5. Organization and outlining ideas for your project
    6. Revising your project for readability

What to bring to your tutoring session (if you have it):

  • A printed copy of your teacher's instructions, including grading criteria if you have it
  • A printed copy* of your writing project at any stage, including free writes, notes, research, an outline, or a partial or complete draft. * Free writes and notes can be handwritten.
  • Your class syllabus and any past papers you have written for that class

Writing Center Handouts

Math Resource Centers

About the Math Resource Center

  1. What classes can we help with? Our tutors can assist you with disciplines within the math department including algebra, geometry, statistics, precalculus, and calculus. We can also help with courses that include a significant math component such as economics.  
  2. Who are our tutors? Tutors at the Math Resource Centers include current and former CSN students, former educators, and current CSN Math Department faculty.
  3. How can we help? Tutors at the Math Resource Centers can assist with:
    1. Practicing and reviewing key concepts for a course.
    2. Preparing for tests and exams.
    3. Working through a specific assignment.
    4. Additional support for placement test preparation.
  4. About the Math Placement Test. CSN uses the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses. ALEKS PPL is an adaptive web-based program that can map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment has up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After taking the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement. If you are not satisfied with your initial placement, you can self-remediate in the ALEKS PPL to raise your placement level. The Math Resource Center can provide supplemental support as well. Learn more about ALEKS.

 

What to bring to your tutoring session:

  • Your textbook.
  • Any relevent notes from class.
  • A positive attitude!

Science Resource Centers

About the Science Resource Centers

  1. What classes can we help with? Our tutors can assist you with disciplines within the science department including chemistry, biology, physics, anatomy & physiology, environmental science, geology, and more.  
  2. Who are our tutors? Tutors at the Science Resource Centers include current and former CSN students, and former educators.
  3. How can we help? Tutors at the Science Resource Centers can assist with:
    1. Practicing and reviewing key concepts for a course.
    2. Preparing for tests and exams.
    3. Working through a specific assignment.
    4. Additional support for placement test preparation.
  4. About the Chemistry Placement Test. Students who need to take CHEM 121 must complete one of the pre-requisite courses or recieve a passing score on the Chemistry Placement Test. You can learn more about the placement test and access a practice test here. Students are encouraged to come to the Science Resource Center for support in preparing for the placement test.

 

What to bring to your tutoring session:

  • Your textbook.
  • Any relevent notes from class.
  • A positive attitude!

Communication Centers

The Communication Learning Centers are designed to provide students with assistance during any stage of the speech-making process. Our tutorial staff is knowledgeable and trained to help students become effective speakers.
The Center will help you:
    •    Select the perfect topic
    •    Create an organized outline and speaker's notes
    •    Gather supporting material
    •    Create exciting introductions and effective conclusions
    •    Create presentation aids
    •    Improve your physical and vocal delivery

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides students with opportunities to master course content through hands-on learning with their peers and the assistance of a trained SI Leader. Supplemental Instruction is currently offered in some biology and chemistry courses, with plans to expand to other subjects. Sessions are completely voluntary, FREE, and unlimited.

 

About Supplemental Instruction

  1. Fun, informal study sessions. Supplemental Instruction is not about lecturing or re-teaching. During these sessions, students master content by playing games and participating in activities with their peers. These activities are designed to simplify content and approach class material in different ways.
  2. A FREE way to get better grades. Students who participate in at least 3 Supplemental Instruction sessions between each exam score, on average, more than a FULL letter grade higher than students who don't come. Students who participate in Supplemental Instruction are also less likely to withdraw from their course!
  3. A more effective use of study time. Supplemental Instruction leaders are students who have already taken this class and passed with a high grade. That means they know exactly what it takes to be successful in this class! Participating in a Supplemental Instruction session is studying, because your leader will show you new ways to learn and remember the content, and also teach you tricks like how to take better notes or study for exams.
  4. A place to make mistakes. Supplemental Instruction sessions are voluntary and anonymous. Your instructor won't know who comes to Supplemental Instruction. This makes them the perfect place to test your understanding and make mistakes without it impacting your grade! Supplemental Instruction is a place to learn and practice hands-on with your peers, not to be embarrassed if you get something wrong.
  5. All about you. Come when you like and stay as long as you can - even if you can't make it on time or stay for the entire session! Bring your questions (and even your lunch) to your Supplemental Instruction sessions to take advantage of the hands-on learning here.

 

Spring 2021

 

Accessing SI

All Supplemental Instruction for Spring 2021 will be held via Canvas.

If your course offers Supplemental Instruction, your SI Leader will contact you during the first week of instruction. SI Leaders can provide details and answer questions about accessing sessions and materials.

Biology

Supplemental Instruction is offered in the following biology courses this semester:

BIOL 189, BIOL 223, BIOL 224

Chemistry

Supplemental Instruction is offered in the following chemistry courses this semester:

CHEM 103,CHEM 108 CHEM 121,CHEM 122 CHEM 241,CHEM 242

Is Supplemental Instruction just like tutoring?


No. Supplemental Instruction is different than tutoring. In a Supplemental Instruction session, you and your peers do the work! It is an opportunity to get hands-on with the material and learn it your way. In some of our previous sessions, students have made paper models, played games on the white board, build structures out of legos and play-dough, and driven race cars through the various parts of a cell. These are just some examples of what we do here.

Your Supplemental Instruction leader won't answer your questions like a tutor will. Instead, your leader will guide you and the other students in the session to answer your own questions and learn what to do when you get stumped. The activities you participate in during your sessions will cover the most difficult material of the class so that you're prepared on test day.

 

Embedded Tutoring

Embedded Tutoring provides students with dedicated support in challenging first year courses. Embedded Tutors facilitate structured weekly study groups and provide one-on-one tutoring sessions to assist students with reviewing course materials, finding the best approach to reading the text, formulating ideas for papers, problem solving, and more.

This program is currently offered in select first year courses including English 100, Math 120E, Math 124E, Math 126E, and Public Speaking.

If Embedded Tutoring is available in one of your courses, it will be noted in the syllabus, and you will be contacted by your embedded tutor at the start of the semester. Students can contact their Embedded Tutor through the course shell in Canvas.

Study Skills & Learning Strategies

The Centers for Academic Success don't only provide support based on specific courses. CSN students can also recieve more general support for overall academic succss. Tutors can help students improve their study skills and develop effective learning strategies. We can even assist you with learning to use digital tools like Canvas and Outlook more effectively to support your academic success.

 

Accessing CAS Services

On Campus, Drop-In Tutoring

CAS Centers are located on the West Charleston, North Las Vegas, and Henderson campuses.

Tutoring sessions are provided on a drop-in basis during our open hours and last 30 to 40 minutes. When you arrive, sign in at the front desk and you will be matched with the next available tutor for the appropriate subject.

When attending multiple tutoring sessions for the same subject in one day, students must break for 30 minutes between sessions. This time may be used to work independently on what was covered during your session, or to take a break and recharge before continuing to work. 

Online Tutoring via Smarthinking

CSN CAS Tutors are found in Smarthinking, which is accessed through Canvas. To work with CSN tutors in Smarthinking choose “Work with a Tutor or Career Coach” and then select your subject of choice with “CSN” in the subject title.

If you don’t have time for a live session you may choose “Submit a Question” to drop off a question and a tutor will respond to it as soon as possible.

Watch this video on how to access CSN tutors/learning assistants on Smarthinking.

Preparing for Your Tutoring Session

Whether you are attending an in-person drop-in session or an online session through Smarthinking, and regardless of which subject you are getting tutoring for, there are general preparations you can make to get the most out of your session.

First, have a goal in mind for your session, such as brainstorming paper topics, practicing a presentation, or improving your understanding of a difficult concept. Whether the goal is very narrow and specific (like working on a single assignment), or more broad and far-reaching (improving your study skills), it will provide you and the tutor with direction and focus for your session. 

Next, be sure to have any relevent materials on hand during your session. Depending on the type of course and the goal of your session, this can include:

  • The course syllabus
  • The textbook
  • A draft of your paper or presentation
  • Class notes
  • The grading rubric
  • Any other information or materials relevent to what you're working on in that session

Finally, remember that every student needs additional support at some point. We are here to help! 

Supplemental Instruction & Embedded Tutoring

Supplemental Instruction

If your course offers Supplemental Instruction, your SI Leader will contact you during the first week of instruction. Students can access SI through their Lab Class shells in Canvas. CHEM 103 and CHEM 108 each have a designated SI Canvas shell. If you have any questions about accessing SI, contact the SI leader for your course.

 

Embedded Tutoring

If Embedded Tutoring is available in one of your courses, it will be noted in the syllabus, and you will be contacted by your embedded tutor at the start of the semester. Students can contact their Embedded Tutor through the course shell in Canvas.