Learning Commons Workshop With Paul Dexter & Nameeh Jarnot | Monday, September 18 (7 pm)
First-Year students should attend this workshop at 10 Bailey Hall from 7 - 8 p.m.. The USM Learning Commons offers MANY benefits to you as a student. As part of this session, Paul and Naameh will review tips on how to ace your courses, schedule a tutor, and provide tips for online learning. Study Table credit will be provided.
Story by Christina Cracolici, Assistant Director of USM Athletic Communications
GORHAM, Maine - With the many new challenges and adventures that face college-aged students during their first year away at a university, those students that also choose to participate in intercollegiate athletics often add another dimension to the mix. With the added travel for away games, practice and game commitments, many student-athletes have to quickly master their time management skills in order to be successful. Student-athletes must also ensure their eligibility by maintaining a certain grade point average and progress towards graduation.
Student-athletes at the University of Southern Maine are no different and many of them are also balancing part-time jobs on top of full-time classes and team commitments. And while the adage "practice makes perfect" rings true for the jump shot or pitching wedge as well as the balancing act of the student-athlete, many first-year student-athletes may need some coaching to help them through the first hurdle of university life.
Southern Maine's Department of Athletics requires first-year student-athletes to participate in a mandatory "Study Table" at the Learning Center in the Costello Sports Complex, requiring on-campus student-athletes to complete four hours of study time per week, while those student-athletes that choose to live off campus must submit two hours of study time per week. Those hours are monitored by student-employees and directed by Head Softball Coach and Learning Center Coordinator Sarah Jamo. In addition to the dedicated space in the Costello Sports Complex, The Learning Center coordinates with Paul Dexter and The Learning Commons to facilitate scheduling tutors, and other key programming to help USM student-athlete be successful, including Time Management and How to Give a Successful Presentation.
"Student-athletes who utilize the "study tables," and The Learning Commons are putting themselves in a position to succeed," said Jamo. "First, it's a great way to get freshman student-athletes used to the rigors of university coursework while adjusting to college life, and secondly, it is a chance for student-athletes from other teams to interact with each other. For many of our student-athletes it is their first time away from home and with all of the distractions college-life can bring, in addition to the demands and requirements of being a student-athlete, it can be a challenge. Study tables help make good study habits and in turn our student-athletes tend to be successful in the classroom."
Southern Maine's student-athlete success can be seen in its record number of Huskies earning William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete recognition later this fall. As part of the 30th Annual William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete banquet, 177 student-athletes will be recognized for maintaining a 3.0 grade point average or better while participating in a varsity intercollegiate sport during the 2016-2017 academic year. At the conclusion of the 2016-2017 academic year, the Department of Athletics as a whole had a grade point average of 2.934.
However, the Learning Center "Study Tables" are much more than just four hours a week spent making notes, studying or completing various assignments. "Along with creating solid study habits, in a relatively social setting, the Learning Center fosters a community atmosphere among athletes, staff and teams. Most of the coaching staff have their offices adjacent to the study table and the student-athletes take advantage of having a strong support system around them," noted Jamo.
It should be noted that The Learning Center in Costello is open to everyone. Yes, our freshman student-athletes are required to put in their time hitting the books, but anyone is welcome to use the facility," added Jamo. "We're proud to host this facility, and of the academic success of our teams and student-athletes."
Open six days a week, the Costello Sports Complex Learning Center can be found brimming with student-athletes and non-athletes alike. "It's a great place to meet and work on projects, get some help in subject areas and to get to know the people who make the Athletic Department," said Mo Raymond (Sanborton, N.H./Winnisquam). Raymond, a member of the Huskies' volleyball team and president of the Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, works at the Learning Center as a study table monitor.
"As a freshman, you have to fulfill your hours to maintain your eligibility, but as time goes on you realize that you are getting more than four hours of dedicated study time," commented Raymond. "The coaches and the staff are there to help, and you feel more connected … It was nice to know as a new student that there were a bunch of people trying to help you succeed as a student and as an athlete."
Costello Sports Complex Learning Center: Study Table Hours
Sunday: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.