What are College Resources?

               Did you know that built into the cost of your tuition are amenities and tools that are meant to aid in your success? College resources are departments, offices, or individuals that you, as a student, have access to that are meant to help you succeed with academics, social life, and safety, among other things. Here’s the deal: you’re already paying for the existence of these assets, whether you take advantage of them or not. Why not get your money’s worth?

               Sometimes colleges will advertise these departments or explain them to students during orientation, and sometimes they won’t. And, unfortunately, it isn’t a guarantee that every college will have every on-campus resource that is listed (although some of them are a required standard). Regardless of which resources a college has, the point remains the same: the purpose of these college resources is to help you, the student, succeed and thrive at every turn, including in the future.

College Resources

               Some of these college resources are absolutely essential for a university to function, and some are meant to provide success or aid on a more personalized level. Whatever its specific function, it’s important to become familiar with the on-campus resources that your college offers so that you can use whatever you need to, when you need to. Here are some college resources you need to know about…

1. Campus Security

               So, campus security is somewhat self-explanatory; it’s the measures and/or personnel that a campus employs to keep its students safe. This is one of those departments that you need to have in order for a campus to function safely. Some larger colleges will have whole police forces dedicated to keeping their campus safe, and others will have maybe a security guard or two who patrol the campus. Some colleges have partnerships with local police, and that can look different depending on the specifics of the partnership.

               So, how is campus security a resource? Well, this is more cautionary than anything else. This is a resource to keep you safe and give you peace of mind. That said, here is what you should do as far as utilizing this department: find the number for campus security, save it to your speed dial and memorize it if you can.

In serious emergencies, your first call should always be 911 (or the number for emergency services in the country you reside in). But for campus or student safety concerns such as suspicious characters or heated conflicts in the dorm, campus security is a more appropriate call.

(note: I once called campus security because there was a mouse in my closet, and you know what? They showed up to take care of it. So even if you are unsure that they’re the one to call, asking is better than doing nothing.)

2. Academic Advisors

               Everyone knows about academic advisors. For most students, speaking with an academic advisor is required before the beginning of each semester. So how is this considered one of the college resources? Academic advisors know all the ways around classes and how to get you through college as quickly as possible with as few hiccups as possible.

               Say you wanted to graduate early? An academic advisor is going to be the person to talk to. They can come up with a plan that meets your goals. What if you’re having problems in a class and don’t think you’re going to be able to pass? Academic advisors know the ways to avoid receiving an incomplete or failing grade for a class. They can recommend the best strategy to either recover the grade or drop the class without it affecting your GPA.

               What if you plan to continue your education after getting your bachelor’s degree? An academic advisor is your best friend in planning for grad school and higher. They can help you structure your undergrad education to meet all prerequisites for grad school and look as appealing to grad school admissions as possible.

               Academic advisors are truly fantastic college resources if you utilize them.

college resources, on-campus resources

3. Department Heads and Professors

               Department heads, or department chairs, and professors are usually the ones teaching the classes, giving the grades, and causing the stress. Sure, that’s true. But if you can look past the mask of grade-giver, there is a well of knowledge and connections that can seriously benefit you. Undoubtedly, being a teacher’s pet is not popular, but at this point in life, you’re an adult and looking towards a career and being buddy-buddy with your professor can help you with that.

               Your professors and department chair/heads are people who have been educated and, to a degree, successful in the field that you may want to go into. This means they have connections to people and companies in that field, people they may have gone to school with or worked with for a time. They have know-how for working in that field and experience that they can share to help you navigate post-graduation chaos and identity crisis.

               Additionally, taking all this time to go to office hours and ask about the field lets the professor know you are serious about your education. This can mean that if you are struggling in their class, they may be more likely to show leniency or help you out. Not a guarantee, but a possibility. At any rate, get to know the professors and department chair in your field. They are one of those college resources that can end up being a connection to a job later on.

4. IT Department

“…sometimes ‘turning it off and then on again’ does not actually fix everything.”

               This is one of those on-campus resources that the whole university needs in order to function, especially in this day and age. With online classes and hybrid classes becoming more and more commonplace, IT departments are more and more essential. Not to mention the network features that we regular people can’t understand and the solutions to computer problems requiring some kind of translation to figure out.

               As much as it pains me to admit, sometimes “turning it off and then on again” does not actually fix everything. The beauty of IT departments is that when you have trouble with your computer, your email, or anything related to school (which occasionally means your phone as well) you can take it to the IT department and get it worked out for FREE. This department is standard at pretty much every college because internet, technology, and online submissions have taken over the academic world.

5. Tutoring and Writing Center

college resources, on-campus resources

               Almost every college offers some kind of tutoring and writing center for students. This college resource is meant to provide students with free academic assistance. Students can go to the tutoring center for help understanding a subject and receive instruction from other students who excel in that area or, in some cases, trained professionals. The writing center operates similarly, with a focus on the essays and written assignments. Students or trained writing tutors will help with structure, grammar, organization, and making sure that the prompt is answered properly.

               In most cases, you can go to the tutoring or writing center even if you don’t need it. While that may seem unnecessary, think of the benefit? Free study help, free peer review of your papers, free advice, and free whatever-other-help-they-can-offer. Just because you aren’t necessarily struggling doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit from using it. And if you do need it, no sweat! These college resources exist to give you the best chance for success—so go succeed.

6. Librarian

               Did you know that you need a master’s degree in library sciences, or something similar, in order to be a librarian at almost any college campus? The reason is because their job extends far beyond shelving and recommending books. Librarians should be your go-to guide for research. They have a fountain of knowledge to pick from, they know where the best resources are, in the library and online, and they can help you navigate the minefield of citation in any format.

               Beyond checking out books and fining you for late returns, Librarians are an incredible on-campus resource. Make a point to introduce yourself to the librarian and ask for help. It’s their job, and in most cases, you’ll find that they are happy to share resources and tips with you.

7. Career Services

               Career services is one of those college resources that focuses on preparing you for success in the future. This department is where you go when you are ready to start preparing for the job force, connecting to the alumni network, searching for an internship, or anything in between. Career services will help you build a resume, cover letter, professional profile, and prepare you for interviews. Typically, you can connect with the school’s alumni network through career services, helping you build a network in the field that you want to go into.

               This is an excellent and highly recommended resource to help you get out of college and into the job force or career field you want right after graduation. You should reach out to career services by your junior year, but honestly, take advantage of them as soon as possible. There is no rule that says you have to wait until you’re nearing graduation. They can give you vital advice on clubs, extracurriculars, and internships to pursue to build your resume and make you an ideal candidate for the jobs you want in the future.

8. Title IX Office/Coordinator

               This is one of those college resources that you hope you never have to use, but need to know about, in case. You may need it for yourself, or someone else. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence. Any university or college that receives any kind of federal funding is required to have some sort of Title IX office or coordinator in order to uphold federal standards.

               The Title IX office ensures that the university complies with all standards set by Title IX, which means that there is no discrimination on the basis of sex, and all complaints of sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence (such as sexual assault or rape) are handled accordingly. Unfortunately, sexual assault is one of the highest crime statistics reported on college campuses, so, while we hope it never happens to us or anyone around us, knowing who to go to is necessary. Make a point to know where the Title IX office or coordinator is.

college resources, on-campus resources

               It’s important that you understand what rights you have under Title IX and what standards your university is required to meet. For more information about Title IX, click here.

9. Diversity and Inclusion office

               The diversity and inclusion office makes sure that the university is a welcoming and supportive environment for all students. They provide resources for students coming from different backgrounds and ethnicities, connect students with student groups when they’re looking for social connections, and ensure that all diversity and inclusion policies are upheld by the university and all students are receiving equal opportunities.

               This office is also a great resource for international students trying to adjust or connect with others. They can provide support, guidance through academia or school processes, or even help with integrating into a new environment and social context.

10. Counseling Services

               On the list of college resources, counseling services are among the most important and beneficial. College comes with a lot of stress, change, challenges, and emotional turmoil. With all the chaos around us, it is not uncommon to break down, burn out, or develop anxiety or even depression. Now, it usually takes time to get to that point, it doesn’t just happen overnight, so making use of counseling services before that point is my greatest recommendation.

               Counseling services at colleges are free for students. You can work them into your schedule relatively easily, and you should make time to take care of your mental health. Stress or emotional problems have a way of bleeding into the rest of our lives when left unchecked. The longer we put off taking care of our stress or pent-up emotions, the more likely we are to end up with a much bigger problem to face like anxiety or depression, and that takes a lot more work to heal from.

               My advice is to use counseling services when stress or emotion becomes distracting at all. Don’t wait until it’s all-consuming. Counseling services are staffed with professionals and, sometimes, grad students training for their profession. They can offer therapy, treatment options, and even diagnose mental illnesses or disorders, like anxiety, depression, ADD, and more, that affect our ability to complete coursework or pay attention in class.

college resources, on-campus resources

Whether you’re just dealing with a lot of stress or homesickness, or you’ve gotten to the point of complete burnout and depression, I recommend going to counseling services. Take the first step to treat the problem because trust me, it isn’t going to just go away on its own. You deserve to be happy and safe in your own skin, and you are capable of getting the schoolwork done, you just need to be guided back to a healthy mindset.

Conclusion

               While I can’t guarantee that every college will have every one of these college resources, knowing about them helps us know what to look for and where to start looking when we need something. Using college resources is not a sign of weakness, especially since we’re all paying for them. These are tools, meant to give you the best possible chance of success, both during your time in college and after it. Using these on-campus resources is essentially taking every step to prepare yourself for a stellar career and put you ahead of the competition. College resources exist for your benefit; make the most of them!

For information about Christian Colleges, or to be entered into one of our scholarship drawings, visit us at The Christian Connector.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • The Best Summer Jobs for College Students

    The Best Summer Jobs for College Students

    Summer is when a magical eraser is taken to our usually full to-do list, and we find ourselves with the rare pleasure of having time to kill. Summer Jobs When the school year is finally over and the onslaught of homework, essays, exams, and undying stress is finally done, the last thing we want to…


  • College Stereotypes: 10 Classic Tales That Need a Reality-Check

    College Stereotypes: 10 Classic Tales That Need a Reality-Check

    Don’t assume that [college] is going to be like what’s you’ve heard. College Stereotypes                We’ve all heard some college stereotypes. We’ve been told the tales, seen the movies, and heard our teachers telling us all about how “in college you’ll have to do so much more.” Before even getting to college, we have expectations…


  • Choosing College Classes: How to Register for Class Strategically

    Choosing College Classes: How to Register for Class Strategically

    Registration is a silent, critical, and chaotic war between you and every other student. College Classes                College classes are a different beast than high school classes. While the process to register for class may seem similar, there is a lot more “freedom” and decision making on your part with college classes than there was…