Student Success Center rolls out online academic coaching and tutoring

Online tutor

The Student Success Center (SSC) is rolling out a live tutoring and coaching service.


Starting in spring, students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will have a new and more convenient online tutoring and coaching option.

The university’s Student Success Center (SSC) is rolling out a live tutoring and coaching service that works with desktops, laptops, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. The sessions will be held using the Zoom video conferencing software/app.

"We piloted the program last semester for classes that we tutor and that are offered online, including writing," says Melissa Berry, SSC virtual learning coordinator.

"While the Student Success Center provides excellent support and outcomes for students who visit the center, there are segments of students that are unable to take advantage of our services," Dr. Brent Wren, UAH associate provost, says. "Students who are taking classes remotely, working long hours or commuting may not have the ability to physically come to the SSC. Offering virtual support is the only way these students will be able to enjoy the outcomes that others get from the SSC."

The feedback received from students who used online tutoring during the fall 2017 pilot program was positive, Berry says.

"Academic coaching assists students in areas such as time management, goal setting and test taking strategies," she says. "Online academic coaching will be offered for any UAH undergraduate student looking to improve on those skills. Online tutoring, which covers specific course content, will be offered for any online class in which we offer tutoring, as well as lower level English classes and writing."

Face-to-face tutoring and coaching will continue. Both online and face-to-face appointments are scheduled at, or by calling the SSC front desk during normal business hours at 256-824-2478, or in person at the SSC located on the first floor of Salmon Library.

"If students feel more comfortable meeting with a tutor or coach in person, they are welcome to come in to the center," Berry says. "Both face-to-face appointments and online appointments are offered during SSC hours listed on our website."

The SSC’s Zoom video conferencing software is now the platform for all SSC online tutoring and coaching appointments. The SSC software and hardware also allows students, tutors and coaches to share screens, annotate on screen and save screens for later.

On the date and time of an online appointment, the student receives an email with a link to the scheduled meeting. Clicking that link begins the meeting and within seconds connects the student and the tutor or coach.

Offering online services is another example of how the Student Success Center is continually looking for ways to improve services and support students, says Valerie Johnson, tutor coordinator.

"We understand that students are busy and have multiple commitments vying for their time," Johnson says. "The addition of our new video conferencing software made it possible for us to expand our reach and serve students real-time who aren't able to meet in our center."

As online class offerings increase, the SSC’s goal is to offer the highest standard of service possible to those students through online tutoring and coaching.

"I think with any change, students may be hesitant to utilize online coaching and tutoring," Berry says. "But once they try it, it's our hope that they will enjoy the convenience of being helped from anywhere and continue to use it."



Dr. Brent Wren

Jim Steele


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