Student Achievement Center

Main Office
Building 38, Rm A-15| phone 202.274.5938

Helping students excel through tutoring, skill-building workshops, and resource referrals


The Student Achievement Center (SA Center) offers an array of services designed to strengthen students’ skills and abilities in areas critical to college success. Services include face-to-face and online peer tutoring in writing (all content areas) and foreign language (as tutors are available); help with study skills; oral communications/presentations; critical reading and thinking; and a calculator lending service. The SA Center also conducts on-site/in-class workshops for students on academically related topics and refers students to specialized tutoring that may be available in other departments.

How to…

Schedule a face-to-face tutoring sessionStudents can schedule a session by calling 202.274.5938, emailing, or visiting the SA Center. Appointments are for one hour; walk-in tutorials are for up to 30 minutes. Students should come no less than two days before the assignment is due with the professor’s instructions, the assigned text, the syllabus, and a hard/electronic draft of the assignment.

Online tutoring session: Please call us at 202.274.5938 or email us at and provide the following information:

  • Student ID (as it appears on the ID card)
  • Assignment instruction (from syllabus or other instructions)
  • Assignment due date
  • Professor’s name

The SA Center will email the instructions. NOTE: the turnaround time for online tutorials is 2-3 business days.

Tutoring Dos and Don’ts

Tutors do help students…

  • Understand assignment prompts.
  • Identify and clarify purpose.
  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Revise a thesis statement.
  • Revise topic sentences.
  • Organize a paper.
  • Reduce wordiness.
  • Learn to cite sources & format papers correctly (e.g., MLA, APA).
  • Learn punctuation rules.
  • Learn to proofread.
  • Review verb tense, point of view, and general grammar.
  • Interpret professors’ comments on graded papers.

Tutors don’t…

  • Provide any assistance on quizzes, tests, or exams.
  • Write papers for students.
  • “Fix” papers for students.
  • Do research for students.
  • Write on papers.
  • Sit next to students while they write.
  • Identify all errors in punctuation.
  • Proofread entire papers.
  • Guess a student’s grade.
  • Guarantee a student a passing grade.

Borrow a calculator: Students may borrow TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculators by visiting the SA Center and completing a contract to use the calculator during the semester. Students commit to paying the replacement cost for unreturned calculators.

Attend a workshop: See the fall or spring workshop schedule and call 274-5938 to register.

Schedule a workshop. Faculty members may schedule an in-class workshop on a variety of critical areas including writing, reading, citations, and study skills. Please complete the Faculty and Staff Request for SA Center Services.

Obtain writing or learning resourcesStudents may obtain writing or learning resources by visiting the SA Center or by clicking on the online resources link for a brochure.

Help for Professors: The SA Center has prepared language to your syllabus for your and your students’ convenience.  To download the information, please click on this link:  SA Syllabus Language Text–November 2017

The Student Achievement (SA) Center helps all students to master critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through tutoring, workshops, and handout materials. To help students with their writing assignments, the SA Center offers face-to-face and online tutoring across the disciplines. The SA Center’s experienced tutors use an interactive, holistic approach to tutoring that looks at the overall assignment rather than a line-by-line review of a student’s paper. The tutor notes the pattern of errors in the first 1-2 paragraphs, helps the student to identify the errors, and then gives the student the opportunity to correct the errors throughout the rest of the assignment.

For online tutorials, students submit papers through the SA Center’s Blackboard site. If the percentage of external sources exceeds 25 percent, a tutor will review the sources; if most of the body consists primarily of other sources, the paper will be returned to the student unreviewed with instructions to revise the paper along with an appropriate handout. The turnaround time for online tutoring is 2-3-business days.