NMSU Student Success Center-Zuhl offers financial coaching, online tutoring

November 23, 2009 by Audry Olmsted NMSU NewsCenter

LAS CRUCES – College students’ days are filled with attending classes, studying for exams and trying to maintain their grade point averages so they do not lose their scholarships.

Now, the Student Success Center-Zuhl has expanded its services to help New Mexico State University students get the most out of their education and finances through online tutoring and coaching in financial literacy.

Angie Tornowski, a senior majoring in finance and accounting, helps a student online with economics homework. NMSU photo by Audry Olmsted)

Angie Tornowski, a senior majoring in finance and accounting, helps a student online with economics homework. NMSU photo by Audry Olmsted)

The center is offering financial literacy coaching to help students understand all of their options for funding their educations and effectively managing their finances so they are not forced to leave school before graduating.

“We’re trying to work on all the different issues that affect students’ ability to fund their education through scholarships, and the state lottery if they qualify,” said Terry Cook, assistant vice president of Student Success.

The financial literacy coaches are NMSU students – Michael Slewyn, Karissa Chadwick and Yessenia Sanchez – who have received training through the National Student Loan Program.

Chadwick, a senior studying government, said their goal is to provide face-to-face coaching for those in need.

They can help students discover which financial aide and scholarships are available to them, as well as how to make payments. The coaches can also help students learn the ins and outs of credit cards, including how to interpret a credit score and how to handle credit disputes. Other services they offer, Chadwick said, include helping students budget their money and balance a checkbook, as well as giving students the skills they need to avoid identity theft.

Chadwick added that they are targeting freshmen: they want to coach students when they are new and give them the tools necessary to successfully complete their educations without having to leave school early.

The financial literacy coaches will schedule workshops that will be available to everyone.

NMSU received funding for the financial literacy program through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Another service the center now offers is online tutoring that expands on the face-to-face tutoring already in place.

“To be able to provide assistance for student success in a number of different mediums is very important,” said Lisa Kirby, program coordinator for the Student Success Center-Zuhl.

Now, students can get on a computer anywhere and log into the online tutoring component of the Student Success Center, where they can interact live with a tutor in a multipurpose room, complete with whiteboard, audio and webcam.

Even though students must sign into the tutoring using their banner identification number, the sessions can be anonymous if wanted.

There are currently eight students who are trained to work as tutors; among them, their combined expertise and training allows tutoring in all disciplines.

We’ve had numerous students sign up online to get tutoring, which we are very pleased about,” Kirby said.

Online tutoring is available Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The online tutoring component can be accessed from the center’s Web site at http://ssc.nmsu.edu/zuhl/index.html.

Cook said that since the Student Success Center-Zuhl began operating last year, they have continued to see an increase in the number of students taking advantage of the academic advising and tutoring services they offer. Students may also receive study and learning strategy assistance through the Student Success Center-Hardman.

Anyone with questions can call the Student Success Center-Zuhl at (575) 646-6050.

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