Learning Center Offers Helpful Options for Additional Support

Are you struggling to grasp a particular concept in one of your classes this semester? Or maybe you have test anxiety and don’t quite know how to deal with it. Let the Learning Center help.

There’s a Tutoring Session for That

“We have course-based tutoring in lots of different classes, and we also have study skills sessions for students who might need help with test taking, reading comprehension, or test anxiety,” explains Jennifer Haley, director of the Learning Center.

Both are accessible to make appointments via Navigate—in the same way students make appointments with their advisors, they can make an appointment with a tutor. Students can just log on to Navigate and make an appointment, with every single tutor accessible either in person or virtually via Zoom. Students don’t need to feel pressured to be on camera, though. If audio is more your speed, you can turn your camera off, or just use Zoom’s chat feature. It’s up to you!

The Learning Center also offers supplemental instruction and testing accommodations for students with disabilities.

Workshops On Demand

Recently, the Learning Center moved its workshops to an on-demand structure.

Here’s how it works: let’s say a faculty member or president of a student group wants to have the Learning Center do a presentation. All they have to do is fill out a form on the Learning Center website. The Learning Center then makes sure there’s someone to present that workshop, and bada-bing, bada-boom, you’ve got yourself a workshop.  Haley says that this modality works a lot better for the Learning Center—it helps to ensure an engaged, interested audience for the workshop.

Best Kept Secret

One of the Learning Center’s best-kept secrets, says Haley, is their database of video tutorials. Over 600 videos were created by Learning Center staff during the height of the pandemic, and are available on virtually any subject, should students want to use them. These are particularly useful, says Haley, for students who are exclusively online, and may not have the schedule necessary for a tutoring session, but can spend some time watching a helpful video.

There for You

In general, Haley notes, online students either may not realize or feel they may not have the time to utilize the resources available to them.  The Learning Center is there for all of Ball State’s students and is willing to meet you wherever you are in your learning process.

“The most successful students are the ones who are proactive about seeking out resources,” says Haley. “Being able to recognize when you need help and being motivated enough to seek it out is a sign of academic and social growth and maturity.  Connecting with actual people—live—even if it is over Zoom, can be uncomfortable, but the students and staff who are here to help you are used to this, and will help you to feel at ease.  So, remember to reach out!”

Take an active role in the learning process and reach out if you need help, because, from writing a thesis to Punnett Squares or Chebyshev’s Theorem, the Learning Center has you covered.

You can also follow the Learning Center on its socials: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more study tips and motivation.

Job Searching in the Digital Age with The Career Center

Where do you turn to when you’re an online student and need career advice? Google? Your family? Colleagues? Friends?

Let’s be honest: Google may be mighty, but it doesn’t have all the answers, and your friends and family may mean well, but they don’t always have the best advice, either.

How about letting Ball State’s pros handle it for you at The Career Center?

About The Career Center

The Career Center at Ball State handles practically all things career-related, from networking with employers to job fairs to resume building. Don’t let the fact you’re an online student dissuade you from using their services, though; according to Brandon Bute, The Career Center’s associate director for career development, up to 95 percent of their services are available in an online format to remote learners.

What The Career Center is most known for is individual career coaching—which, conveniently, is offered both online and via telephone for online students.

“We actually have a number of students who are out of state, and alumni will take advantage of it too,” says Bute. “Certainly with the growth and boom of Zoom over the last few years, we‘ve really tapped into those video conference tools. We can also use Microsoft Teams if that’s more accessible. The career coaching service is probably one of the top resources students use.”

The Career Center also offers a variety of workshops on some of the core competencies that employers have identified that they want to see in new hires. These core competencies, called , include communication, critical thinking, diversity and inclusion, professionalism, career and self-management, basic understanding of technology, and leadership as a skill. Workshops that help students to learn about and bolster these competencies, then go on to utilize them, are held regularly online.

In addition, The Career Center offers several online resources, including but not limited to the Cardinal Career Link for job searching and recruitment, and VMock, a fully realized and renovated resume review system that utilizes AI technology to analyze and provide feedback on resumes. If you’re looking for salary information, The Career Center has that, too. All of this is available to fee-paying students.

Job Hunting in the Digital Age: Networking is Your Friend

As Bute notes, more and more of the job search these days is online or utilizes some kind of online platform, be it LinkedIn for networking, Zoom for interviewing, or Indeed or Glassdoor for job searches. The Career Center has had to pivot its content in recent years for this very reason, alongside pandemic-related concerns.

“At the start of the pandemic, within 48 hours, we had converted all of our services to a fully online format,” says Bute. “We had to. We’re a direct student service provider.”

In a way though, notes Bute, doing so was to students’ advantage. Moving the job search and resources online is somewhat of a training for a professional job since more and more jobs are incorporating online components or are going partially or fully remote.

There are a lot of different ways to go about the job search. Personal networking has always been the number one way to get a job. Building relationships with potential employers is key. With everything online these days, says Bute, that can easily be done via LinkedIn or other means—and The Career Center is here and ready to help with that, too, with online meetups with potential employers.

Giving Students Hope

Bute often sees students when they are at a point of confusion, despair, or stagnation with their career, and says that the most rewarding part of it for both students and himself is the change that occurs when accessing and utilizing The Career Center’s resources.

“We don’t prescribe, [or instruct a student on what to do moving forward]–a career coach listens, understands, and then we help [students] craft their own plan to move forward,” says Bute. Career development is lifelong. You’re going to be doing different things and changing and growing. That’s really rewarding for a career coach to see that change, to go from a moment of despair to a moment of hope.”

To reach out to The Career Center, you can email them at careercenter@bsu.edu, or follow them on Instagram (@bsucareercenter) or Twitter (@CareerCenterBSU).  Search for “Ball State Career Center” on YouTube and subscribe to the channel.  You can find their LinkedIn group page by searching for “Ball State Career Network.”













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