Office of Student Affairs

Services for Academic Support

Amherst College offers a variety of services to support students’ academic efforts. In addition to taking advantage of our faculty’s teaching and advising, students can augment their academic work through these services. Students who have used these support services have consistently recommended them highly.

Academic Writing Services

At the Writing Center, professional writing instructors are available to help students with their writing in one-on-one sessions, as well as in small-group workshops. Students may consult the writing staff about any aspects of the writing process: getting started; developing and organizing ideas; refining the thesis and argument; writing with more clarity, energy and confidence; managing time; approaching long projects; writing research papers; and dealing with writing anxiety. Students can make appointments via the Writing Center online scheduler at the Writing Center website.

Time Management and Writing Counseling

Dean Charri Boykin-East is available for short-term counseling sessions that help students address problems impeding their academic progress, e.g., procrastination, time mismanagement, competing priorities (academic and social) and related issues. For an appointment, e-mail Tammy Welcome at twelcome@amherst.edu or call (413) 542-2529.

Senior Writing Associate Kristen Brookes offers individualized Writing Counseling sessions that address the interrelated problems of procrastination, writing anxiety, frustration, and writer’s block. For a Writing Counseling appointment, use the online scheduler at the Writing Center website. For more information about this service, contact Kristen Brookes (kgbrookes88@amherst.edu).

Together, Ms. Brookes and Dean Boykin-East lead workshops that not only offer practical strategies for managing time, but also help students recognize unproductive mindsets and develop more productive ones. Ongoing support in these areas is also available through facilitated peer groups. 

Reading Skills Instruction and Workshop Series

The Writing Center offers workshops that offer strategies for meeting the various challenges posed by college-level reading, including how to be an effective reader of electronic texts. Some workshops focus on how to become a better reader of challenging texts, while others offer strategies for managing a heavy reading load. In conjunction with faculty members from various departments, the Writing Center also offers workshops on reading in the sciences, as well as in various fields in the humanities and social sciences. Students can learn more about and register for workshops via the Writing Center's website. Individual instruction in approaches to reading is also available from the Writing Center’s professional staff; for more information, contact Kristen Brookes (kgbrookes88@amherst.edu).

English-as-a-Second Language

Writing English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) is a program that provides international students with support for using English, especially English as a second language. ESL instructors provide opportunities for students to participate in private or small-group sessions to review written work, review grammar and syntax or practice pronunciation. They also offer guidance in the conventions of American academic writing. Students can make appointments through the Writing Center’s website.

Study Help for Quantitative Courses

The Moss Quantitative Center organizes drop-in study help at scheduled times for the introductory quantitative courses. Faculty-selected teaching assistants or drop-in tutors are available to work with students who want to improve their understanding in math, science and economics courses. The scheduled times are posted online. The Moss Quantitative Center is in Room 202 of the Merrill Science Center.

Individual appointments are also available for students in math and chemistry courses. If you have questions, contact the director, Jennifer Innes, at (413) 542-8331 or jbinnes@amherst.edu.

Math Review During Interterm

Amherst students have an opportunity to work on mathematics related to or in preparation for Amherst courses by arrangement with the Math Associate in the Moss Quantitative Center. For information, students should contact Timothy St. Onge at trstonge@amherst.edu

Tutorial Services

Peer Tutoring is available to students who are enrolled in Amherst courses and, for a variety of reasons, find themselves in need of tutorial assistance. Peer tutors are approved by faculty in the following disciplines: astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, French, geology, German, Greek, Latin, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, psychology, Russian and Spanish. As is customary, students who are concerned about their academic performance are advised to first discuss their concerns with the professors in the courses — those who are interested in working with peer tutors must first receive the approval of their professors. Peer Tutoring is a service available for students who are facing academic challenges. Peer tutor assignments are made in consultation with Dean Charri Boykin-East, director of tutorial services, in 105 Converse Hall. (See Time Management and Writing Counseling, above.)

Library Course and Research Support

Librarians can help you with research in a range of ways: stop by a reference desk in the Frost, Music, or Science Libraries or in Archives and Special Collections to get started with your topic or for help using the catalog or a database. Get quick questions answered using the live chat box on the library website, or make an appointment with a subject librarian for more in-depth research. And library staff is always available at the front service desk for questions about reserves, how to find things, or where to get more information.

Academic Services for Students with Disabilities

Students with documented disabilities may be provided with a variety of academic support services, depending on the specific nature and extent of the limitations imposed by the disability. Available academic support services for students with documented disabilities include in-class note takers, scribes, typists, readers, research/lab assistants and taped books. The assessment of documentation and provision of disability-related support services and accommodations is coordinated by Dean Charri Boykin-East. For an appointment, e-mail Tammy Welcome at twelcome@amherst.edu, or call (413) 542-2529.