Academic Enhancement Center

The Academic Enhancement Center (AEC) is a student-centered collaborative learning community. The Center, comprised of professional and peer tutors, helps students develop the confidence and skills necessary for academic success and independence at the college level.

We stress learning as an ongoing process; an interactive experience between tutor and student. We are both a Center of support and a Center for enhancement and enrichment.

Contact Information

Main Office
718-489-5226
Room 3002

Project Access

project access

The transition from high school to college is a challenging time for many students. Increased workloads, higher academic standards and complex coursework are just some of the issues first-year students face. St. Francis recognizes these unique challenges and offers a variety of services to help every student become a successful part of our campus community.

Project Access is a multi-faceted First-Year Experience (FYE) program designed to nurture and support incoming students by providing them with opportunities to improve their critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking skills in order to succeed in college and beyond.

Mission

  • Recognize potential in our students
  • Acknowledge and celebrate students’ commitment and hard work
  • Present opportunities to enhance students’ college experience
  • Provide academic, advising, and mentoring support to help students identify and accomplish their goals

Throughout the year, Project Access Students are invited and strongly encouraged to participate in a number of events meant to enrich their college experience and foster connections between their professors and each other. Opportunities include:

  • Local museum and historical site visits,
  • Community service,
  • and, Cultural experiences.

Additionally, students are invited to events during the college’s activity periods including:

  • Welcome receptions and student/faculty mixers
  • Mid-semester “check-ins”
  • End of First Semester Ceremony
  • and, End of Year Reception

The End of Year Reception celebrates Access students’ completion of their first year as college students. Students’ families are encouraged to attend and join in the fun!

Summer Bridge Program

Access students are encouraged to start their careers at SFC by attending a five-week summer program that provides them with skills to meet the challenges of becoming a college student.

Students who attend the summer program will benefit by:

    • Learning in small class settings
    • Working with dedicated faculty
    • Growing in a supportive environment
    • Creating meaningful relationships
    • Participating in off-campus activities

First-Semester Interest Group

The cornerstone of the Project Access Program is the First-Semester Interest Group (FIG). FIG links a workshop (SFC 0040) to a course in the college’s general education program (history, philosophy, fine arts, etc.) taken in the student’s first semester. The purpose is to develop skills needed to meet the demands of college-level writing and analysis.

Access classes are capped at 15 students, allowing faculty the opportunity to provide each student with individualized time and attention.

SFC 0040 assists students in developing their ability to:

  • Evaluate texts
  • Analyze concepts
  • Devise and implement successful learning strategies
  • Develop their writing skills across their curriculum

The cost of books, course materials, and educational field trips are covered for all participants in the program. Eligibility for the course is based on student’s placement test scores. The workshop consists of three hours of weekly instruction. Students in the program are also equipped with individualized tutoring plans with designated tutors in mathematics, the sciences, and liberal arts.

Faculty Mentorship

Access faculty conference with their students multiple times throughout their first year and beyond to evaluate their progress towards their chosen major.

Academic Support

Access students are strongly encouraged to attend weekly tutoring sessions in the college’s Academic Enhancement Center during their first semester. By establishing this vital link between students and resources outside the classroom students are able to raise their confidence level as well as results.

Advising Support

Academic advisors help students identify obstacles to their academic development and assist them in creating strategies to overcome those issues. Additionally, Project Access students are invited to participate in both online and in-person workshops to ensure their success.

Peer Support

Project Access maintains a mentoring program made up of peer tutors from the Academic Enhancement Center as well as high-achieving sophomores and juniors from previous Project Access classes. Having a fellow student mentor first-year students provides a helpful introduction to many aspects of college life.

Program History

For almost 15 year. Project Access has proven successful in helping more than 1,000 SFC students; providing them with the skills and support to:
  • Achieve and maintain strong GPAs
  • Choose and declare majors
  • Succeed and graduate from SFC
  • Create solid career plans following graduation

If you have any questions regarding the Project Access Program, please contact Stefan Spezio, Director of Project Access and the Academic Enhancement Center, at 718.489.5274 or stop by the Center in Room 3002.

Tutoring

The goals of the Academic Enhancement Center are to provide tutoring and enhance academic skills.

The Center provides both peer and professional tutors who assist students in all content areas. The Center's professional staff and peer tutors meet with students individually and in small groups. Students are encouraged to arrange an appointment or simply drop-in.

The Center is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am - 6:00pm. To make an appointment, please call our front desk at 718.489.5226.

Computer Resources

The Academic Enhancement Center has 8 work stations where students can access the library’s digital resources and databases while completing assignments.

There are also 12 laptops that can be loaned out.

The Academic Enhancement Center, in collaboration with the College’s Disability Services office, provides a variety of assistive technologies for students such as:

  • Zoom Text screen and keyboard magnifier.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking speech-to-text writing program.
  • Plustek text-to-speech reader.
  • Livescribe pens/notebooks and netbooks, which are available for student use.


Workshops

Each semester, the AEC conducts workshops on reading and writing designed to help students improve their skills. These workshops reinforce grammar, general essay writing, and research skills.

The AEC also collaborates with the Office of Freshman Studies to provide Removing Obstacles to Success (ROS) workshops. ROS Workshops include but are not limited to:

  • Organization: How to prepare for the start of a semester.
  • Study Strategies: Develop new study habits to retain information and improve performance.
  • Identifying Strengths: Understand your best qualities and how they can help you achieve success.
  • Time Management: Tips to stay productive and limit distractions.
  • Coping With Stress: Balancing school, work and other stressors.
  • Academic and Career Choices: Choosing a major that suits you.

The Office of Freshman Studies also offers Academic and Career Success Online workshops on topics such as time management, study strategies, and career exploration. These workshops are available 24/7 for FREE to all SFC students.

The workshops are sponsored by StudentLingo which provides interactive on-demand workshops, action plans, and valuable resources focused on helping students achieve their academic, personal, and career goals.

View workshops at www.studentlingo.com/SFCsupport

For questions on workshops, please speak with an advisor in the Office of Freshman Studies.

Placement Testing

All first-year students must take the college's placement exams in writing and mathematics. Transfer students who have not received transfer credit for writing and mathematics are also required to take these exams. Results of the exams are used to place students in appropriate writing and math courses.