Re-establishing Manageable Expectations in Tutoring

Kyle Harley, Kaplan University Writing Center Tutor


shutterstock_3629801Here at Kaplan University, our respective support centers housed within the Academic Support Center are lucky. I say this  simply because we possess the ability to share experiences, challenges, and, of course, triumphs between our centers. With this, however, comes a very unique conversation, and one that I found most interesting while creating training tutorials.

Prior to even working on the tutor training project,  my biggest concern  revolved around using neutral language when writing the material for specific tutorials and resources. Because I work only in the Writing Center, my expertise, to be fair, is a bit limited. I tend to write for writers about writing, so I needed to establish some sort of common ground between all of our respective centers. Instead of focusing on the subject matter between each different center and catering the training materials accordingly, our team identified the commonality  that each tutor wrestles with constantly—time, or for that matter, figuring out how to best use the time we have with students.

At first glance this may appear rather simple.  A student enters a tutorial service seeking assistance, each session lasts a specific amount of time, and the student moseys off to accomplish his or her  task upon concluding the tutorial session. Sure, those occasions happen periodically, but what of those situations where a student may not know what he or she  needs assistance with? What if the student has never explored the given concept and, despite your invaluable skills, accomplishing an overview in 20 minutes seems impossible? More often than not, these situations become reality and require a bit of appropriate action in the form of a friendly refresher. With the help of many of the fantastic folks here across the Academic Support Center, these three, very pragmatic reminders  help shed light on the appropriate way to guide our students toward academic success.

1.) Establish what you can accomplish in the time frame of the tutoring session—be realistic.

To put things into perspective for the student, understand his or her reason for attending tutoring first and foremost. A simple greeting, of course, goes a long way, but understanding the student’s  intent for attending academic support services remains key to getting the session started. In the rarest of cases, tutors may also need to usher students to other support centers, so take this time to be sure the student is in the appropriate location. Next, after understanding the student’s intent, rationalize a bit. What can you feasibly accomplish in the time frame allotted for the session? If the student comes in seeking a review of a paper reaching the 40-page mark or an equation that will take hours to complete, rationalizing what can feasibly be accomplished from the get-go allows for a more productive and focused session. Sure, you may not accomplish all of what the student sought after, but at the very least the tutor used the time wisely. This also allows for a bit of reciprocity as the tutor may suggest that the student continue work on what he or she  produced in the session before returning for more help. We can do a fantastic amount of great deeds for our students, but, unfortunately, we cannot extend time. Therefore, simply be honest with your students; they will appreciate it when they come back in the second and third time.

2.) Remain consistent with your session format: Greet, assist, conclude, and invite back.

Of the three suggestions, this tends to outweigh the others in that, regardless of the student or the assignment at hand, each session should conform to a general model. The best and simplest way to ensure accurate timing involves sticking to a rather rigid routine with the freedom to adjust accordingly during the tutoring itself. In terms of percentages, ten percent of the session should be devoted to greeting and concluding the session accordingly; the remaining eighty percent, of course, occupies the duration of the session. Certainly these numbers will fluctuate a bit based on the context of the session, but the majority of the session must be devoted to actual instruction. By limiting the introduction and conclusion of the session to approximate times, this best assists the student with feeling like he or she was  treated to a service and not just ushered through so that the tutor can take the next student. From a tutor’s perspective, this also allows for more productivity and will actually assist further with time management. By actively thinking of three sessions per hour or even two sessions per hour, tutors can then be better prepared for what all they may have to accomplish.

3.) Keep control of the session; you are the professional, so make the experience professional and consistent for the student.

Extrapolating a bit off of the last reminder, maintaining control of the session is key to accomplishing a consistent model that the tutor can then replicate elsewhere. We want our students to interact with us, of course, but too much interaction, or too little, for that matter, can lead to awkward questioning or, in extreme cases, resistance from the student. As we want to always avoid these situations, adhering to the student’s request is just as important as making a suggestion for a better, alternative route. As we are the professionals in this situation, we should  never feel that we  are unable to discuss a different plan of action with the student so long as the end goal of the session pairs with the student’s satisfaction. More often than not, when a student comes into a tutorial service frustrated and irritable, this more than likely stemmed from confusion.  A  bit of guidance, as we are all more than capable of providing, helps immensely. Building this level of professionalism will also  help build our reputation, so take the time to assert your expertise while also ensuring that the student receives the best help that we can offer.

All of these reminders may seem like the re-invention of the wheel for some tutors, and that is a fantastic problem to have. For the others, much like myself, seeing this on the page really does make a difference. By focusing our time on the respective sections of each tutorial session, this difficulty becomes one of the easiest aspects of our job. Once in the rhythm of establishing a goal early and vocally with the student, sessions tend to move more quickly, as many of our tutors are happily reporting. It is because of our expertise that we can make adjustments accordingly.  As our outreach  continues to improve, both in numbers and in quality,  prioritizing these tasks will elicit increased student satisfaction across all centers.

Uniting to Help Students SOAR – Working Across Disciplines to Develop a Student-Centric Research Symposium

By Teresa Kelly, Kaplan University Composition Faculty


shutterstock_182845946In higher education, when a challenge presents itself, interdisciplinary collaboration often results in better outcomes than having a single person dedicated to working  the problem or driving an initiative. Sometimes, this collaboration is by design, but more often than not, it grows out of mutual interests, common goals, and individual skills.  Such is the case for one initiative at Kaplan University designed to address the “skills gap” and the need for experiential learning. School of Business and Information Technology Associate Dean Tina Burton and Graduate IT Academic Department Chair Kristina Setzekorn, PhD., proposed a dynamic idea to repurpose something familiar – the academic conference – into a vehicle for students and alumnae to demonstrate marketable skills. The Kaplan University First Annual Interdisciplinary Virtual Student Research symposium (called SOARS for Student Online Academic Research symposium) will take place Tuesday, November 17, 2015. The engaging idea has drawn in faculty, leadership, and staff from around the University.

The idea for SOARS came from a familiar place – the needs of students before and after graduation. For some time now, the research and conversation around higher education and the labor market has centered on “the skills gap,” and how to address it among new college graduates. “The skills gap” refers to the abundance of open jobs that employers can’t find qualified applicants to fill and the perception that many graduates lack demonstrable skills. Employers want to see applicants with demonstrable, transferable skills.  Accordingly, the focus in higher education has shifted to how to provide students and alumnae with ways to demonstrate what they know or have learned, but also to document what they can do.  SOARS is a documented way for students to demonstrate initiative and professional competencies such as research, written and verbal communication, and critical thinking. Participation in any facet of the symposium shows personal initiative and engagement in learning, also highly sought after attributes.

Implementing SOARS started with a multi-faceted program committee, including Setzekorn and Burton as well as School of General Education Dean Jodene DeKorte, PhD., and Director of the Office for Student Life Maurice Brown.  Over thirty suggestions for topics and multiple volunteers to serve as track chairs and readers have come from faculty across the University. A steering committee came together to handle the logistics of everything from developing a conference website to marketing. The Steering Committee includes members from across the University with experience from other University events and initiatives, including members of the leadership team such as Assistant Academic Chair-Humanities Kate Scarpena, Academic Department Chair – Mathematics Peg Hohensee,  and Assistant Academic Chair – Social Sciences Katie Kirakosian.  Graduate IT Faculty Tamara Fudge, Composition Faculty Eric Holmes, Ellen Manning, PhD., and Teresa Marie Kelly, and  Mathematics Faculty Kirsten Meymaris  brought their own knowledge and skills to take SOARS from concept to reality. Professor of IT-School of Business & Information Technology Carol Edwards-Walcott and KU Research Consultant Suzanne Khalil, PhD., are in charge of the Research Poster Sessions.

Prior to the symposium, SOARS team members will educate and engage students in research methods and theory through a series of webinars hosted in partnership with Kaplan’s Academic Support Center.   Webinar hosts included Brown, Academic Support Center Manager Melody Pickle, PhD, KU Library Director Matt Stevons, and Career Services Director Jennifer Katz. The webinars began on September 16 with sessions by Graduate Human Resources Professors- School of Business and Information Technology Joel D. Olson, Ph.D., and Steven V. Cates, DBA, SPHR, and will continue through SOARS.

SOARS continues to show the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to turn big ideas into realities and to meet challenges.  The symposium certainly benefits its target audience – students and alumnae. SOARS participation signals to employers that participants have initiative and the communication, analysis, and critical thinking skills that are highly prized. Students who don’t present but attend the symposium or pre-symposium webinars gain skills as well as a goal for the future. For the faculty, administrators, and staff organizing SOARS, the high point of the symposium is in the harnessing and sharing of their own vital professional skills with the students for whom these skills are so critical.


Dr. Tamara Fudge, Kaplan University Professor in the School of Business and IT


shutterstock_mp-140142487 We’ve all gotten those papers – the verbose ones where every sentence feels like a lead weight and has to be read at least four times before getting another cup of coffee and writing “what is meant by this?” in the margin.  All that bling works for Mr. T, but it’s not appropriate in a college paper. An example:

Maxwell’s frantic and frightened feline skedaddled across the surface of the kitchen’s faux-linoleum flooring, frightening the usually-copacetic canine companion who cowered precociously in the southwest corner due to this extraneous and unexpected ruckus.

Analysis: There are 33 words in one sentence. Some words might need to be looked up by even the better-than-average reader. The extra words mask the meaning; the sentence must be read several times to understand it. The alliteration is cute – and really annoying. This isn’t a college paper;  it’s a potential Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winner.

Grade: F

Max’s cat ran through the kitchen and scared the dog.

Analysis: This has simpler, shorter words. There are no unnecessary adjectives. The sentence is only 10 words long and gets the point across the first time it is read.

Grade: A

There are several reasons why beginning writers might embellish a paper:

  1. They might think that academic writing and creative writing are the same thing. They are not.
  2. They might be trying to meet a minimum word requirement without having enough real content. That’s a shortcut through a thorny field, not a solution.
  3. They might think it makes them look smart. It doesn’t. It makes them look like they can’t communicate.
  4. They might not understand how to paraphrase and thus are replacing normal words with fancy ones and adding adjectives.

Often, our hardest job is to convince the verbose writer that his or her work is not good. “My other teacher likes this” and “I’ve always written this way” are not valid excuses.  If the recipient of a written piece does not understand the meaning, gets frustrated trying to figure it out, or ends up misinterpreting it, the writer has failed to communicate.  And isn’t that what language is supposed to do?

Here are some suggestions to share with students:

Keep sentences medium-short. Use shorter, simpler words where possible. Avoid redundancies, and get to the point.  Identify and avoid words that don’t provide value (Rieck, 2010).

Don’t make up words, use clichés, or write as if talking with a friend.  (Just to clarify, the style used in writing a blog entry is not the same as used for research papers. This writer does not use contractions or humor in academic work.)

Organize ideas with an outline and stick to it.

Proofread frequently, not just when the paper seems complete and the writer is tired.

Visit the Writing Center and ask for help from a tutor.

Most importantly: practice, practice, practice. It’s not just the way to Carnegie Hall;  it’s the way to getting better at anything.

I thought of titling this blog entry ” Avoid Obtuse Verbiage Embellishing Proliferously for Deviant and Suspicious Purposes (Bling Alert)” … but I think you get the point.


Rieck, D. (2010, April 7). 11 smart tips for brilliant writing. Retrieved from






Kaplan Science Center Tutors

Compiled by Lisa Gerardy, MA, Kaplan University Writing Center Specialist

For the past couple of months, we have featured tutor interviews here on the Kaplan University Academic Support Center blog.  This month, we have the pleasure of meeting a few  Science center tutors.   Science tutors meet with students throughout the week for live tutoring sessions via the Adobe Connect platform.  Like all other tutors in the Academic Support Center, Science tutors also lead workshops on a variety of topics.




Dawn Maslar

How long have you been tutoring?

Four years

Why do you tutor, or what is your favorite thing about tutoring?

My favorite thing about tutoring is when I can talk someone off the ledge. Often when students  finally come to us they are so frustrated, they’re ready to throw the assignment away. However, after a few minutes they calm down and, with a little help and reassurance, they go merrily on their way, knowing they are now on the right track. It can’t get any better than that.




Cathy Rice

How long have you been tutoring?

Four months

Why do you tutor, or what is your favorite thing about tutoring?

My favorite thing about tutoring is spending time one-on-one with students who are motivated to do what is necessary to achieve success!




Kelly Gordon

How long have you been tutoring?

Two years

Why do you tutor, or what is your favorite thing about tutoring?

In particular, I tutor chemistry, and it is such a great feeling to be able to take such a scary subject and make it more understandable. In addition, I enjoy the type of learner whom we  encounter in the online setting.




Lilly Moreno

How long have you been tutoring?

Two years

Why do you tutor, or what is your favorite thing about tutoring?

I tutor because I care about the success of the students. I understand their struggles and love to help them succeed.




Robert Aguilar

How long have you been tutoring?

One year

Why do you tutor, or what is your favorite thing about tutoring?

I love being able to help non-traditional students. or  students who may have families and  full-time jobs yet make time to further their knowledge.


Pursuing Positive Intent

Molly Wright Starkweather, Kaplan University Writing Center Tutor


reading laptop copyOne of the most beneficial approaches to my development of meaningful collegial relationships with students and colleagues has involved mindfulness, particularly a focus on the positive intent in others. Believing the best in someone else’s actions can turn even the most abrupt, friction-filled remark into an opportunity to cultivate healthier communication. After all, I as a person cannot control other people; I can only control my responses to others.

If a student arrives to a tutoring session and begins acting in an inappropriate manner, it is tempting as a tutor to bring that behavior under control. It is the same feeling I get when I see another driver inching out into the emergency lane to pass me when in gridlock traffic. It is the same feeling I get when I see my toddler reach for a candy bar while buckled in to her seat in the grocery cart. I just want to do anything in my power to force the other person against their will to make what I deem the correct choice, and why not? Protocol is on my side. The law is on my side. The American Academy of Pediatrics is on my side. Any rule I try to enforce, I am enforcing for the good of the other person, with well-researched evidence to back me up. The problem is an emotional student, a desperate driver, or a toddler with a sweet tooth is not going to see things that way. There is a better way.

Believing the best in a student can be most difficult when the student is facing a charge of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a situation in which sides collect evidence to prove guilt or innocence, so a tutor seeing a student in a tutoring session where that student wants help understanding what constitutes plagiarism can be awkward. I admit having a hard time keeping calm when I was teaching a composition class and a student had taken portions of a paper and not cited the sources in the text nor on a reference page. This was a student who had been missing quite a few classes recently as well. When we sat down to talk together, I found out the student was having a very difficult time adjusting to life in a new country, especially living in Minnesota during a winter where we had gone a record six days without sunshine. The student admitted to copying portions of text because the English had been overwhelming. That was the moment I had every rule in every handbook from the university, the department, and the composition program on my side. The student was guilty; the student fully intended to cheat. Where were those positive intentions I wanted to find? They had to be somewhere. So, I had this conversation with the student.

“Why did you turn this in? Why put that time into turning in something obviously wrong when you could have just not turned in the assignment?”

“I wanted to try. I wanted to use the sources and I used too many and I ran out of time but I couldn’t show you nothing.”

“So you wanted to write about this subject?”

“Yes. I care about it. I want to learn about it. I want to show you what I can learn about it.”

And there it was. There was the positive intent. I could work with that.

“Okay. Let’s talk about it, right here. We’ll take our time to listen to your original thoughts. Let’s get some water first.”

After we filled up our water cups from the fountain outside the office, I got to ask questions, the student got to explain the ideas that went into the piece, and we got to talk about how to shape some critical thoughts around the subject and around what the sources had to say. By the weekend I had seen two new drafts and encouraged that student to work more with tutors, to check in with me again, to keep at it.

A grad school classmate of mine taunted me that I was the reason students are so spoiled these days. According to him, that student just learned how to play the system, and I had done nothing to deter cheating. I asked, “Do you still get students who plagiarize?” “All the time,” he grumbled, “And it makes my blood boil.” I gave a good-hearted chuckle and said I cannot control students choosing to plagiarize, but I could choose how I would like to respond in most cases, and in most cases I committed to the choice to pursue the positive intent. I hope to connect with others who have found such an approach fruitful as well.

Revisiting Emig and Why Writing is Hard

by Chrissine Rios, MA, Kaplan University Writing Center

Every month I post to this blog, and every month I don’t know what to write, so I thought this time I’d ask you. How can I help you? What’s been on your mind about teaching or tutoring writing? Is there any part of writing that is particularly difficult to teach? Or, better: What do you perceive as the hardest part of writing for students to learn?

I keep expecting any day now to meet the students who since Kindergarten have been “making self-impelled meaning through the written word” (Moffett as cited in Emig, 1983, p. 174). I’m anticipating the arrival of a new wave of students who grew up with the power of writing—fully aware that words make meaning and are agents and catalysts of social action and self-awareness. I’m optimistic that over the next 15 or so years before I retire, I will meet college students whose pressing concerns about writing are not whether their sentences are correct but how they make a difference.

Maybe it’s all the expectations of academic writing that get in the way of our students’ own thoughts and imaginings, or it’s the writing assignments intended to test learning instead of engage students in learning, but I seem to be reading more and more papers formed almost entirely of summaries, paraphrases, and quotes. The research is extensive, even in 100-level courses, and for the most part, the sources are credible—the Internet is a many-splendored thing—yet I strain to understand the point of the writing, and I’m not entirely sure that the student strained to make one, knew how to, or knew to make one at all, as though the purpose of writing is not to say something original but to say what someone else said.

During my first year of college I had a visiting professor from England who came all the way to Northwestern Michigan College to teach English Composition. Wanting him to like my writing, I selected a topic from the list he gave us that seemed personally relevant to him and interesting to me: a geographical survey of England. I had traveled in and out of the U. S. a bit before starting college as a 26 year-old, so while I knew nothing about the geography of England other than it was on an island and near Ireland, I liked learning about new places. I did thorough research, and I accurately cited everything. Everything. I could neither believe nor understand how I did not get an A, so I went straight up to his desk after class and asked him: “Why didn’t I get an A? I did everything correctly.” His answer became an enigma for some years to come: “Yes, you did. But that’s all you did.”

I understood what he meant only after many more teachers and much practice with college-level writing.

In “Literacy and Freedom,” the last chapter in Janet Emig’s 1983 book, Web of Meaning, Emig explains that students do not innately write beyond recapitulating what they’ve read because of the historically unbalanced views of literacy in the U. S. educational system. Whereas literacy should be “a double helix of reading and of writing” (p. 172), literacy is defined as the ability to read and comprehend texts. Writing is not considered, let alone treated as a vehicle for expressing original ideas, which is how we view writing at the college level, from my perspective, anyway.

I happened to be talking to my brother on the phone while I was writing this, and I told him I was musing over the hardest part about writing for students. Like me, he went to grade school during the 70’s, but he started college right out of high school and returned only a little after finishing his BA to earn a masters in accounting. “What is the hardest part of writing for you?” I asked him. He answered directly: “What’s hard is that I have nothing to say.”

According to Moffett (as cited in Emig, 1983) older students who claim to have “nothing to write have simply spent their school days copying, paraphrasing, and fitting given content into given forms; they have never had a chance to see themselves as authors composing their inner speech toward a creation of their own” (p. 175). For Moffett, older students were born before 1963. Older students today would be those born before 1995. How’s that for perspective?

In 1999 when I first read Emig’s Web of Meaning, I was earning my MA in English Composition and Communication at Central Michigan University. Students were writing across the curriculum and being tutored at the Writing Center; composition students were reflecting in journals, revising essays for their portfolios, and crafting literary or creative nonfiction essays for their narrative assignments as well as their research papers—and not only in the courses I taught. The “reading obsessed” views of literacy seemed as dead as Current-Traditionalism and the banking concept of education.

In one of my graduate seminars, the chair of my teaching assistantship program, Dr. Taylor, drew a T on the chalkboard to create two columns, and she labeled the left column “What” and the right column “So what?” This, she said, was a pre-learning/pre-writing strategy for teaching students how to analyze print advertisements for their upcoming “Analysis of an Ad” assignment. The “What” column is where our students were to list their observations about the ad. The “So what?” column is where they were to express how the observed details mattered. I can’t claim that without prompting, I would know to do more than interpret the details according to the modes of argument or appeals of rhetoric we were discussing in class. Asking “So what?” helped students think about what they were saying, what it meant, and why it mattered.

The activity also helped students see and develop their own writing processes as it was an ungraded pre-writing activity; it gave students the opportunity to see their writing assignment as “doable”—one of Cambourne’s preconditions for learning. I learned about Cambourne from my Rhetoric and Composition professor, Dr. John Dinan, the best instructor ever and my source for Cambourne’s strategies: To be doable, assignments must be broken into manageable tasks, and in-class activities should rehearse the kind of writing they are expected to do in their essay assignment. At every stage of the process too, feedback must be positive and support each student’s selective focus, strategy, and individual varieties of the learning process—writing assignments should not be as Dinan said and maybe Cambourne too: “this way or the highway.”

I’ve heard so many criticisms of assignments over my academic career, not just from students and tutors but also from teachers; most everyone agrees that some assignments to some degree are culpable for some of the shallow writing students do. In fact, many of those assignments were written by those with older literacy histories than our older students. But we need to also take our students’ literacy histories into consideration. The paradigm has not changed all that much in 30 years. Yet I remain optimistic.

I believe all writers have the same innate urge that I do to write meaningfully, and it’s my work to invoke that urge, to ask, “So what?”

I’m also hopeful because my first-grader has reading and writing homework every school day (except Fridays). His reading assignment is, well, to read for no less than ten minutes and to consider the setting, characters, beginning, middle, and end, and the problem. His writing assignment is a worksheet. Sometimes it is to write sentences in response to questions. But oftentimes it’s math or science, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I do not think Emig or Moffett would call the scales of reading and writing balanced just yet.

He did tell me that he writes a literacy journal in class, however, and his one from Kindergarten last year included narratives about experiences and statements about favorite things. Some of them even ended with “because…”

By the way, I also asked him what the hardest part of writing is for him. He answered, “The hardest part of writing is not disturbing you.”

What is the hardest part of writing for you?


Emig, J. (1983). Web of meaning: Essays on writing, teaching, learning,

and thinking. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.

Addressing the Whole Student

Kyle Harley, Kaplan University Writing Center Tutor

There seems to be a fascinating approach to coaching overpaid athletes these days in the form of addressing the “whole player.” I say this in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion because being paid $250,000 per week must be incredibly difficult. I can only imagine the corners they must cut to make ends meet.

Levity aside, I really began assessing this notion of the “whole player.” How can this be defined? The “whole player” includes the human being behind the flashing lights and immense paychecks. These people have families, other interests, plenty of obligations, and  emotions. In very much the same way, when considering our students, how often do we consider the “whole student?”

The need to address the “whole student”  became much more evident when I helped a student nearly in tears. The shakiness of her voice, coupled with what she viewed as scathing comments by her instructor,  set the tone for our live tutoring session. After prodding a bit and uncovering the requirements of the assignment, the student appeared to calm down considerably—that is until I pulled up the draft to dissect some of the commentary. Immediately she shut down;  the sea of commentary filled the margins from the first page to the last and seemed to overwhelm her.  Many of the comments hearkened back to three weeks prior when the student, based on her word, had to miss a considerable amount of class time due to a variety of issues concerning her mental health.

Questioning becomes immensely important during these sort of therapy-like sessions. One wrong move could spiral the student further out of control, so I decided to keep the focus on the issues the instructor continually brought up. What happened three weeks ago? How, with my degrees in English, could I help with any sort of mental health issue? At the time I found myself a bit nervous, but I decided to just listen. That’s it. Sure, our session ended up being a bit longer than most, but after ten minutes of airing her frustrations and explaining her issue, her tone completely changed.  After this session, I tried to think about it from a student’s  perspective.

What kind of people did we enjoy most in school?t I think I can speak for the majority when I say that most of our favorite teachers, tutors, and faculty were individuals who truly cared—and cared for the students around them. We are all professionals, here to help, and when this student was finally able to openly and honestly speak about her condition and how it directly impacted her ability to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks she could not understand, she found a sympathetic ear. I may not have a fancy couch in my office where students can  vent  frustrations while I jot notes on a pad of paper aimlessly, but simply listening, a very honest skill, meant the world to her. We have all been in similar situations at some point, especially during our first years in a collegiate setting. Most of my best memories and interactions with professors occurred in a private setting where I could further explain any given issue and gauge the professor’s persona. Sometimes, realizing that a human being, more than likely burdened with multiple other issues, sits behind the name that we see on the screen remains key. Taking a bit of extra time out of your day to understand where a student is coming from, regardless of  if you agree with it or buy into it, alleviates a great deal of student-felt stress. By realizing that a student is, in fact, a whole person, we can then begin to progress forward as I did in this session.

My student became jovial, even joking with me to an extent in following e-mails regarding her progress on the next assignment. She became whole again, and it all boiled down to the simplest of mottos, one which I aptly remember from a bumper sticker: Bark less and wag more. As professionals in the field of higher education we must remember that students, at times, need a bit of extra attention to really bring out the best in their abilities. I still work and communicate with this student quite frequently, and I fully intend on continuing my work in this area to see a fantastic person reach her lofty and achievable goals.