Staff Editorial: The CAS: Combating Academic Stress

One of the universal truths about this university is that academic stress is inevitable, and especially at this point in the term. In previous editorials, The Lawrentian’s Editorial Board has criticized Lawrence’s culture of academic and extracurricular overwork, and has challenged the claim that our campus is in fact “healthy.” The Center for Academic Success (CAS) is a resource students can use to combat academic stress, and greatly improve their Lawrence experience.

The CAS is most well-known for its writing tutoring services, as many students are required to work with a writing tutor during Freshman Studies. However, the CAS also has over 140 content tutors whose job is to help other students understand course material. Working with tutors can be much more productive than simply having your friends read over your paper or discuss concepts with you: tutors have undergone extensive training and are paid for their time, giving them an incentive to work hard to make sure your work turns out well. Tutoring is non-remedial, and the majority of Lawrence students meet with a tutor in any given academic year.

The CAS also provides academic accommodations for students with learning disabilities, and can also help arrange testing for learning disabilities or ADHD. These services help to make sure Lawrence’s learning environment is accessible to all students.

One resource within the CAS that is not very well-known is its academic counseling services. Many times, students struggle with academics for reasons that may not be readily apparent to them, and academic counselling can help students understand and address these issues. Additionally, academic counseling helps students who are struggling with motivational issues, time management and study skills, among many other topics.

The CAS provides students with many tools to decrease academic stress. Yet, many students complain about Lawrence’s existing academic culture—in which sleep deprivation and stress are normalized—and act as if there is no way to combat it. Taking the initiative to use the resources campus provides us is an important step towards changing this culture. The CAS is located on the first floor of Briggs Hall, and tutoring appointments can be set up online through Voyager. As Fall Term comes to an end, remember to utilize this resource.