U-Turn helps students get back on the road to academic success

U-Turn, CSU’s annual academic resource expo, is set for Wednesday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., in the TILT building on the Oval this year.

The campus-wide collaborative event is held in conjunction with the Early Performance Feedback initiative. U-Turn is geared toward helping students academically by offering them the specialized services of different campus programs all in one room.

“U-Turn is open to all CSU students,” said Collegiate Success Coach Joanna Lilley in CASA, the Center for Advising and Student Achievement. “It can be especially helpful for those students who are struggling academically, or who have received a ‘U’ in many of their 100-level courses by the end of September, but anyone who wants to improve their academic skills can come to U-Turn.”

Academic Support Coordinators reach out to students with a “U” — which is not a grade, but part of CSU’s Early Performance Assessment – to have a conversation about some of the challenges the students may be facing. ASCs invite the students to U-Turn to connect with the most appropriate resources.

Self-assessment, Navigators and Planners

A trip through U-Turn takes about an hour, and starts at the front desk of TILT, where students fill out a self-assessment form.

The student then meets with a Navigator, who reviews the student’s self-assessment and helps to identify three or more resources for the student to connect with during U-Turn. The Navigator takes the student to the appropriate resource booths among the two dozen spread out in the Great Hall in TILT. These resources range from CASA to the Health Network, Student Financial Services to Resources for Disabled Students.

“We started U-Turn in 2010, aimed mostly at first-semester first-year students who may not realize that they need to adjust their high school study habits to be successful in college-level courses,” said Associate Director of Learning Programs for TILT Darrie Burrage,. “We’ve grown over the years to serving more than 300 students per year and would like to have more this year. It really is helpful for students at all levels.”

The final person the student meets before leaving U-Turn is the Action Planner. Action Planners help brainstorm three goals they can work toward to overcome their academic struggle, creating an individual action plan tailored just for them.

Navigators and Action Planners are volunteer faculty and staff from across campus who receive training from the U-Turn committee to assist students at the event.

“Students who have gone through U-Turn have told us through evaluations that it has been very useful and has helped them get back on track, and faculty have seen the improvement, too,” Lilley said. “It’s an entirely voluntary program, so it helps for students realize that they can improve their grades through their own efforts.”

But this once-a-year event isn’t the only way students can receive academic assistance. TILT offers regular academic success workshops and tutoring sessions in the Great Hall, and ASCs are always available to talk with students and connect them with a wealth of campus resources.

More information about all the learning programs available through TILT.