Academic Support and Services

Academic Support Services is comprised of a number of programs that are designed to help Colby Students maximize their academic success.  We want students at Colby to know that there are opportunities for them to obtain help when they need it.  Our arrangements for residential living at Colby include a carefully selected upperclass hall staff and a number of resident faculty and staff members who are always eager to assist students. Each new student will be assigned a faculty advisor (who has a limited number of first-year advisees) and an advising dean who are ready to assist with schedule planning and with problems that may arise after the semester gets under way.  Professors in each course are also eager to help students who may need assistance in understanding the concepts, methods, or requirements of their courses. General study skills advice is available from the staff of the Office of the Dean of Students.

In addition to these initial sources of help, we would also encourage you to consider, should the need arise, the more specific services outlined in this booklet.  The most important element is to seek help early!

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In the Farnham Writers' Center all students can work with tutors to develop writing abilities and acquire strategies for organizing and writing papers, essays, lab reports, proposals, and any other form of writing.  Tutors are trained to work with any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming an assignment to:

• discovering a thesis                              • organizing material

• developing ideas                                  • producing a draft

• finding supporting evidence               • evaluating and revising a draft

• editing for error

The one-to-one tutorial format of the Writers’ Center reinforces the mutual development of writing and thinking.  Director Paula Harrington, a full-time assistant director, and 17 undergraduate peer tutors suggest strategies that will work for different individuals, including those suffering from “writer’s block.”  Papers will not just be “corrected” for you; the emphasis is on your continuing development as a writer.  You can go just once, go once in a while, or enter into a long-term tutorial according to your needs.  EN 112, a one-credit tutorial attached to any course that requires significant amounts of writing, is offered through the Writers’ Center.  In this course a student works with the same tutor throughout the semester.

The Writers’ Center is located in the street of Miller Library, Room 9.  The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Sunday through Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Appointments are recommended, extension 5290.

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Our psychological counselors are available to help you with problems that may be adversely affecting your academic performance.  They can help you learn how to structure your time better and not procrastinate.  Test anxiety, which can dramatically interfere with academic performance and confidence, is another problem for which you can receive help.  Remember that being nervous because you haven’t studied or been to class for three weeks is not test anxiety––that is realistic worry resulting from not being prepared.  However, if you clam up and freeze although you are well prepared, that is test anxiety.

Additionally, there are times when personal problems such as family situations or stress in social relationships can interfere with your ability to concentrate.  Talking with one of our therapists in a confidential setting can help get things off your chest and refocus on school and academics.

The counseling services offices are located in the Garrison-Foster Health Center.  Call extension 4460 or talk to the secretary at the second floor desk to schedule an appointment.

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Colby has no formal program for students with learning differences and does not treat such students differently from other students in the admissions process.  However, those students with learning differences who are admitted to Colby have available to them several forms of support, including the attention of Assistant Dean of Students Joseph Atkins (Eustis 210, extension 4253).

In accordance with the recommendations of a qualified diagnostician, students with learning differences may be allowed several adjustments to academic procedures, including additional time on examinations, extensions on written assignments, and other variations in examinations procedures.  These students may petition to take less than a normal course load each semester.  Other forms of support are available and may be discussed with Dean Atkinns.  These include special consideration for private study carrels available in Miller Library, note takers, and the tape recording of lectures.  More information on Learning Differences support and the procedures for requesting accommodations can be found at

It is the policy of Colby College to provide academic support for all students.  The procedures for students with learning differences are consistent with this policy.

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Individual tutoring is available at no cost to any student having difficulty in any course.  If you are in need of help, here are the steps to follow:
  1. Consult your professor.
  2. If it is decided that you should have a tutor, get the name of a tutor (usually an upperclass student who majors in the relevant subject) from your professor.
  3. Make an appointment with the tutor and set up a regular schedule.  Two to three hours a week is the norm.
  4. Prepare for your tutoring session.  Do as much work as you can beforehand so that the tutoring time can be spent on specific problem areas.
  5. Keep your appointments.  If you must make a change, have the courtesy to notify the tutor in advance.
  6. If you have any problems, speak with your professor or the tutoring coordinator (Dean Moore) in the Office of the Dean of Students.
For more information, please contact:

Barbara Moore, Associate Dean of Students

Office of the Dean of Students
Colby College
Waterville, ME  04901
Telephone:  (207) 859-4255
Fax:  (207) 859-4264

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During the academic year, feel free to contact directly:



Professor Paula Harrington
Miller Library, Room 9
Ext. 5290



Eric Johnson, Director
Garrison-Foster Health Center
Ext. 4460
e-mail:  esjohnso



Dean Joseph Atkins
Office of the Dean of Students
Ext. 4253
e-mail:  jeatkins