Help with the hard stuff: Academic support at CSU

two students study together over a library table

Wondering how you’ll get academic support, tutoring, and study help in college? The transition from high-school academics to college academics can be a big one. Tests can be more difficult, labs can be demanding and long, and you are expected to juggle multiple courses and exams at the same time. But CSU doesn’t leave you dangling in that transition. From private tutoring to group study sessions to professor office hours and academic-focused clubs, you can rest assured that there’s as much help for the challenges of college academics as you might need.

#1. Group tutoring

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT), is your one-stop shop for almost any kind of academic help, tutoring, or even just a point in the right direction. Some of the options you’ll find here include group tutoring for subjects like biology, chemistry, math, and physics. If you join group tutoring, you’ll commit to two 50-minute group sessions per week, where you’ll get assistance with any homework along with activities that cover what you’re currently learning in class.

#2. Subject-specific tutoring and private tutoring

If the course you need help with isn’t included in TILT’s group tutoring offerings, or you’re looking for a one-time help session, CSU has various labs and study centers that can accommodate you. You’ll find options for virtual drop-in help in the Accounting Lab, the Calculus Center, the Chemistry Learning Resource Center, the Statistics Success Center, and through Mechanical Engineering Tutoring.

The Native American Cultural Center also provides tutoring in key subject areas. The Eagle Feather Tutoring Program is open and available to all students at Colorado State, regardless of their major or affiliation with Native American Cultural Center.

You’ll also have access to free private tutors for specialized help with coursework.

#3. Your Academic Success Coordinator (advisor)

When you begin your journey as a CSU Ram, you are assigned an academic advisor, or, as we call it, your Academic Success Coordinator. This person is a dedicated professional advisor (rather than a faculty member) whose entire job revolves around giving you the best academic advising possible throughout your entire CSU career. Your advisor will help you find the perfect academic path for you, along with helping you choose classes, meet requirements, and register. Plus, they’ve got a broad knowledge about CSU internships, post-graduate study and jobs, and so much more to help you find your way through college and come out in a career or grad program you love. It’s recommended you meet with your advisor four times a year, and they’ll stay with you through it all.

#4. CSU Writing Center

The CSU Writing Center is a robust program offering assistance with all types of writing, from personal endeavors to research to coursework that requires essays. Among the resources the Writing Center offers are video conferences with tutors, online draft and review consultations, and hour-long video appointments for students working on papers that are 15 pages or more. The Writing Center also offers walk-in help, but recommends making an appointment if you can. Lastly, the Writing Center offers a one-credit seminar course to assist students in Composition 150 (CO150).

#5. Professor office hours

Never underestimate the benefits of your professor’s office hours. CSU professors are here to help you learn and apply what they teach, and they are more than happy when you take initiative to better understand that material. If you are struggling with something, set up a time to chat with them or ask them what their drop-in hours look like. Oftentimes, you can even catch a professor before or after class to get a question answered or set something up for more in-depth assistance. Remember, they won’t know you’re struggling unless you approach them; once you do, they’ll be happy to help.

Bonus: Academic-focused clubs and peer studying

Don’t underestimate the help you can get from joining an academic club, where students from the same majors gather together for studying, group work, and discussions. In addition to help with the courses and labs you take, you’ll make connections with other students in your major or academic field, and get opportunities to learn from students who’ve already passed your courses successfully.

Want even more out of your academics?

See ways to expand beyond the basics.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.