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January 30, 2017

Get help to succeed at campus resource centers

It might be a bit intimidating to walk into one of Johnson County Community College’s five resource centers, especially if you feel everyone inside looks as if they belong there. But would they be there if they didn’t need help, too?

“Using a resource center is not a sign of weakness but of strength,” said Jeffrey Merritt, director of the Academic Achievement Center. “It’s normal to struggle with college coursework, and the ‘smartest’ students use all the resources available.”

How to use resource centers

If you have your JCCC ID card, you have free access to all the tutoring and programs each resource center provides. Here’s what to do:

  1. Locate the resource center best able to help you. For general help, or if you don’t know where to start, go to the Academic Achievement Center, OCB 304.
  2. Bring your JCCC ID and present it to the employee on duty. Tell that person what you need help doing, and he or she will help connect you with a tutor, software program, study group or other solution.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.

Here’s the list. Go visit one today.

Academic Achievement Center, OCB 304

Director: Jeffrey Merritt

Purpose: “To help students be better all-around students.”

His advice: “Our goal is to maintain a warm and fuzzy environment where students feel at home.  Some students just use the AAC as a place to study, knowing that if they become ‘stuck,’ there is someone around to help them.”

Video including all centers

Language Resource Center, LIB 225

Director: Christina Wolff

Purpose: “To help you succeed in the language classes you are taking.”

Her advice: “We are here to help. We are a smaller lab. Work with a tutor if you are taking American Sign Language, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish classes, or use the computers so you can complete online FL work. You also can come to the LRC to collaborate.”


Math Resource Center, CLB 212

Director: Brett Cooper

Purpose: “Once you come in, we will help you survive your next test or help develop your skills and understanding to be a mathematician or engineer.”

His advice: “Math is math. The level you are at doesn’t matter to us. Students who are trying to learn to work with fractions will be sharing space with students trying to find an orthogonal basis for a vector space. Everyone struggles with math sometime. We are happy to help you where you are.”


Science Resource Center, CLB 112A

Director: Suneetha Menon

Purpose: “Science classes are hard, and you are not the only one feeling that way. But we can ease your journey through these courses and also develop an interest and appreciation for the subject by providing one-on-one help as well as various learning tools.”

Her advice: “Students who seek help can be assured that they are in the best hands. These tutors can not only explain concepts well and in depth but also help develop good study skills specific to the subject.”


Writing Center, LIB 308

Director: Kathryn Byrne

Purpose: “If you struggle with writing, like I do, in the Writing Center you can ask questions and get immediate answers, and you can see how others arrive at that answer, like ‘What questions were asked? What resource did they reach for? Whom did they ask?’”

Her advice: “Too many students think that writing is an innate skill, a skill they were born with, like a super athlete. But the truth is there is no super athlete without practice every day, practice repetitively, and seeking the advice and feedback of a more knowledgeable peer. Everyone needs help learning…”