• Dawson Forcella

Compass Now Offering Campus-Wide Study Halls

New to The Cliff this fall are campus-wide study halls that are open to the entire student population. Compass, a campus resource that focuses on helping students succeed in a variety of ways, has started this new study hall to give all students a healthy study environment with access to its different services.

Maria Cancino, a Compass Navigator, is the study hall Program Coordinator. Cancino has worked with several teams in the Athletic Department and saw that some of the practices used in the team study halls could benefit other students on campus.

“We have been doing study halls for the athletic department for about three years now,” Cancino says. “We saw that it was working.”

While it benefitted athletes, some professors, and students not on athletic teams wondered about a study hall for general students. Cancino and the Compass created this study hall for those students.

“We started this general study hall where all students can go. Not all teams have study halls with an APM in it, so this gives them the opportunity to go to a study hall where there is an APM (Academic Peer Mentor) so they can get the extra help, or ask questions, just to have that service available to them.” Cancino says. “Especially more for our students who aren’t on a team because the teams have their own study halls, we want to provide the same services to them,” Cancino says.

Formerly, Cancino worked as a coordinator in Academic Achievement before transitioning into a role as a Compass Navigator. One of her main responsibilities now is coordinating Academic Peer Mentors (APMs), which are an important part of the new campus-wide study halls.

Academic Peer Mentors fill a variety of roles, but their main job is to help students academically. They offer tips on studying habits, proper preparation, time management, and how to approach certain classes. APMs are trained at the beginning of each year on how to help and interact with students.

“All Academic Peer Mentors go through an 8-hour training every year just to prepare them for conversations they have with students but also how to be most effective when giving tips and things like that,” the Study Hall Program Coordinator says. “For me they are not only peer mentors, but they are para-professionals.”

Samantha Zeleny, a senior nursing student at BCU, is an APM that helps with study halls. She explained why the perspective of an APM can be helpful for students.

“We are really there to help the students succeed from a different perspective than the professors or their coaches,” Zeleny says. “We are going through a lot of the same things and are there to help relate and share some tips and tricks of the college life.”

There will be two study halls a week, each one lasting one hour. On Mondays the study hall is located in Heelan 005 from 3-4 P.M. On Fridays the study hall is located in Heelan 192 from 10-11 A.M.

“It kind of gives that variety, one in the afternoon and one in the morning, so that students, if they can’t make it to one they can make it to another,” Cancino says.

Photo Credit: Dawson Forcella / Cliff News

New campus-wide study halls hosted by the Compass are open to all BCU students this semester. Each study hall session has an Academic Peer Mentor available to help students.

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