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Academic Personal Trainers

Having trouble figuring out where to start? Unsure of what is expected of you in a course? Or worse, what you should realistically expect of yourself? Wonder how to better manage your time, set academic goals, learn new strategies for taking notes or study better for exams?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions - or would simply like to learn new strategies for academic success - then meeting with an Academic Personal Trainer is a step in the right direction. Academic Personal Trainers work with you on an individual basis to help you gain your own toolbox of academic skills.

Find out more about Academic Personal Trainers

Who are Academic Personal Trainers?

An Academic Personal Trainer is a specially trained peer tutor who can help you address general concerns about your academic success.

In order to become an Academic Personal Trainer (APT), a peer tutor must have completed at least one semester as a content tutor, maintain a required 3.0 or higher GPA and have completed TTR 101 and/or ENG 390 as well as additional training with the Learning Center professional staff.

Working as a peer tutor helps the APT understand the Learning Center's services and operation so he/she can guide you in your quest for academic support. Working closely with the professional staff of the Learning Center insures that the APT acquires the skills necessary to be an effective academic coach.

And that's an important distinction. Although APTs are trained first as tutors, they are peer coaches. Your APT's role in your meeting is to provide a solid foundation for your academic success through conversations on creating study schedules, setting academic goals, balancing your academic and social life, referring you to other services on campus when necessary, etc. Your APT will provide helpful hints for taking notes or studying for a class, but a session with an APT does not cover course content. Instead, APTs are trained in how to coach you in the necessary tools for your academic success. If you do require assistance with specific course material, your APT will help you connect with a Learning Center content or writing tutor.

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What happens during a meeting with an Academic Personal Trainer?

First, all meetings with Academic Personal Trainers are individual. An APT may come to your dorm or class to present information on the Learning Center or lead a workshop. But if you would like to work with an APT, you must make an individual appointment. Please stop by the LC Frontdesk to schedule an individual appointment with an APT.

Second, meeting with an APT is not a one-shot deal. You should plan on meeting with your APT several times throughout the semester. Both you and your APT make a commitment to work with each other at your first meeting.

During the first meeting, you and your APT will spend some time getting to know each other. We have a detailed first session questionnaire that you and your APT will complete together. While we do not require you to answer all of the questions, we do ask that the questions you do answer are answered honestly. And remember, this is a conversation. Feel free to discuss your answers with your APT and ask him or her questions as well.

At your next meeting, you and your APT will discuss the obstacles to your academic success. You will most likely start with goal setting and time management, but remember that your concerns drive the session. The APT is here to guide you in acquiring the skills necessary for your academic success. Please be prepared to bring your syllabi and a planner, if available, to your APT session. The first step to academic success is getting organized.

You should also meet with your APT throughout the semester. By the end of the first or second meeting, the two of you should come up with a schedule that meets your needs. Again by honestly and openly discussing your concerns with your APT, the two of you can come up with a realistic idea of your strengths as well as your obstacles to success.

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What does the Academic Personal Trainer expect of me?

Essentially, your relationship with your APT is built on respect and trust. The APT will treat you with respect and expects the same. The APT trusts that you will be honest with him or her and you can expect the APT to be honest with you.

In order for your first few meetings with your APT to be effective, you should bring all of your course syllabi to the first and second meeting. At later meetings, the APT may ask you to bring specific course work, like a textbook or course notes, so the two of you can reinforce the skills that you are using and share new ideas for studying with you.

Since you make an appointment with an APT, it is important to remember to be on time for your meeting and understand that the APT can only meet with you for one hour once a week. The Learning Center Cancellation and No Show policy applies to appointments with APTs as well. So remember three cancellations or two no-shows will mean dismissal from the program for the remainder of the semester.

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How do I meet with an Academic Personal Trainer?

Since you must complete the "Contract for Tutorial Services" all appointments must be made in person at our Learning Center Front Desk. Our schedule changes with each semester so please see this semester's times under Hours .

If you would like to make an appointment but are unable to stop by the Learning Center during our normal hours of operation, please contact the Learning Center at learningctr@plattsburgh.edu .

At the end of your first appointment with your APT, you should make your next appointment by stopping by the Learning Center Front Desk as you leave.

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