Good resources for making college easier

College can be a hard and difficult time. There is always something to do, such as writing papers, studying for big tests and waking up on time to go to class. Luckily, WCU offers helpful centers for students who need a little help with their mountains of papers and homework. Not only do the centers themselves offer help, but some professors give students extra credit for attending any one of the centers.The CAT Center (Catamount Academic Tutoring Center) is comprised of peer tutors who are students with mastery skills in various subjects. These fellow students work in small group tutoring sessions in order to help other students that may be struggling in the class or with the material. The environment is free from distractions and is supportive in that students are working with students instead of professors working with students. Students also receive one-on-one attention that may not be possible in a classroom environment. The CAT Center also offers learning resources and Academic Skills Workshops throughout the semester. These workshops, which are also taught by peer tutors, offer students a wide range of helpful tips and strategies to make college life a little less difficult. During the beginning of the semester, students can attend workshops that focus on time management, effective listening and note taking, staying awake for reading assignments, and strategies for test taking. Closer to the end of the semester, there are exam preparations and stress relief strategies workshops for exams week. Finally, the CAT Center has the Office of Professional Examinations, which is a National Test Site for examinations like the LSAT, Praxis and others. If the CAT Center does not offer tutoring in the class a student needs, they can fill out a request form for the class.Western not only offers students help with social science but also with difficult college math. The WCU Math Tutoring Center is also taught by peer tutors, who help with homework, understanding difficult concepts and answering any questions. Students can set an appointment to get one-on-one teaching or study sessions, or they can drop-in during office hours. The Math Center works with professors by maintaining a collection of textbooks that can be checked out at the library, should students need extra help. The study sessions are organized on the demand of the students, and informal study groups are free to use the labs. Last but not least, the center offers a workshop for using a graphing calculator and how to get through a college math class.For some courses, students may be required to use computer software that they may be unfamiliar with or to create basic to advanced web pages. The Student Technology Assistance Center helps students with concepts covered in class to navigating the Western homepage. As with other tutoring centers, STAC can work one-on-one or with a scheduled group. Workshops include creating and using a web page, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets.Since almost every class requires students to write some form of paper, the Writing Center can be one of the most helpful places to visit. Unfortunately, peer tutors do not write the paper for students. Instead they work one-on-one with a student to brainstorm for a paper, read over an already-written paper for grammar mistakes or offer solutions to problems. Also, tutors will point out any writing that may be suspected plagiarism and give students tips on how to avoid it in the future. Any student caught plagiarizing will suffer penalties ranging from failing a class to being expelled.A final way to make college easier for students is to form their own study group. Hunter Library offers students closed rooms equipped with chalkboards and tables for any group size. Some professors will even join a group to help students review for a test or to go over difficult material. Professors will also put helpful material on hold that can be checked out at the library.For more information on the above centers, or to find information about other centers, visit