College Resources

To be successful in college, you need to be fully informed and make wise decisions about the courses you register for, college policies, and additional resources. Always remember that your college wants you to succeed. That means that if you are having any difficulties or have any questions whose answers you are unsure about, there are college resources available to help you get assistance or find answers. This is true of both academic and personal issues that could potentially disrupt your college experience. Never hesitate to go looking for help or information—but realize that usually you have to take the first step.

The college catalog has already been mentioned as a great source of many kinds of information. You should have an updated catalog every year or know where to find it online.

The college’s Web site is the second place to look for help. Students are often surprised to see how much information is available online, including information about college programs, offices, special assistance programs, and so on, as well as helpful information such as studying tips, personal health, financial help, and other resources. Take some time to explore your college’s Web site and learn what is available—this could save you a lot of time in the future if you experience any difficulty.

In addition, many colleges have offices or individuals that can help in a variety of ways. Following are some of the resources your college may have. Learn more about your college’s resources online or by visiting the office of student services or the dean of students.

Academic advising office. This office helps you choose courses and plan your program or degree. You should have a personal meeting at least once every term

Counseling office. This office helps with personal problems, including health, stress management, interpersonal issues, and so on.

Financial aid office. If you are presently receiving financial aid or may qualify for assistance, you should know this office well.

Tutoring or skill centers. The title of this resource varies among colleges, but most have special places where students can go for additional help for their courses. There may be a separate math center, writing center, or general study skills center.

Computer lab. Before almost all students became skilled in computer use and had their own computers, colleges built labs where students could use campus computers and receive training or help resolving technical problems. Many campuses still maintain computer centers to assist students with technical issues.

Student health clinic. In addition to providing some basic medical care and making referrals, most college student health centers also help with issues such as diet and exercise counseling, birth control services, and preventive health care.

Career guidance or placement office. This center can help you find a student job or internship, plan for your career after graduation, and receive career counseling.

Office for students with disabilities. This office may provide various services to help students with disabilities adapt within the college environment.

Housing office. This office not only controls campus residential housing but often assists students to find off-campus private accommodations

Diversity office. This office promotes cultural awareness on campus, runs special programs, and assists diverse students with adjusting to campus culture.

Office of student affairs or student organizations. Participating in a group of like-minded students often supports academic success.

Athletic center. Most colleges have exercise equipment, pools, courts and tracks, and other resources open to all students. Take advantage of this to improve or maintain your personal health, which promotes academic success.

Other specialized offices for student populations. These may include an office supporting students who speak English as a second language, adult students returning to college, international students, religious students, students with children (possibly a child-care center), veterans of the armed services, students preparing for certain types of careers, and so on.

Your instructors. It never hurts to ask a friendly instructor if he or she knows of any additional college resources you haven’t yet discovered. There may be a brand new program on campus, or a certain department may offer a service not widely promoted through the college Web site.


Everyone needs help at some time—you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. Remember that a part of your tuition and fees are going to these offices, and you have every right to take advantage of them.

Source: Saylor College Success CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0


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Strategies for First Year College Success Copyright © by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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