Layered Strategies for Academic Success

When studying for a course, consider a layered strategy that begins with you and the resources available in your course and then works outward to other potential resources for assistance.

Take charge of your learning and think about your thinking. (i.e., Leverage "metacognition.")

Students should develop the study skills and habits that work best for them as individual learners.  This varies for every student and requires considerable self-awareness.  The science of learning can be learned, and you can train your brain to adjust to new study habits or routines.  Learning how to learn at Notre Dame may require you to consider new study strategies.

  • Develop study skills strategies to "Study Smarter Not Harder." (site under construction)
  • Contact the Center for Student Support and Care regarding mentoring for academic goal setting, learning strategies, time management and organization, self-regulation, and self-efficacy.
  • Partner with the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development to assess and develop your “Career Ready Competencies” which include skills such as “Self-Awareness” and “Critical Thinking/Problem Solving” – traits both useful in class and sought by potential employers regardless of your future plans.
  • Consider Campus Ministry for help with discerning how your academic goals and your identity as a student mesh with your vocation and life choices

Visit faculty during their office hours.

Your primary resource for academic assistance should be the faculty instructor for your course. Faculty publicize their particular availability for student visitors to their office by defining "faculty office hours." Take advantage of the office hours listed in your course syllabus and visit the professor!  They are here to help.

Meet with Teaching Assistants (TAs).

Some courses have teaching assistants, and many of these course experts are available outside of class time.  Check your syllabus to see if your course has TAs with office hours as an available option.

Form a course study group.

Studies demonstrate that fellow students are highly effective resources in the learning process.  Peer collaboration works!  Since they are enrolled in the same rigorous courses together, students face similar academic challenges and can collaborate to achieve success.  With the right approach, a peer study group structures studying time and builds a regular studying routine.  Discussing and thinking about course content with peers aids in the learning process.  Peer study groups also help to establish mutual accountability.

Ask about resources in your dorm.

Some dorms have students who have volunteered to assist fellow residents as tutors.  Ask your Hall Council or your dorm’s “academic commissioner” about the availability of this option.

Navigate Notre Dame’s Tutoring Landscape.

There is a wide range of resources at the University for academic support.  This inventory provides an “Academic Tutoring Landscape for Advising Students," also known as ATLAS.