The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Training for a 4.0

ALEC teaches transition skills to student-athletes
 Training for a 4.0
Training for a 4.0

Training for a 4.0

Go to class from 8 to 11. Lift weights at 1. Practice from 2 to5. Grab a bite to eat between 6 and 7. Study from 7-10. Repeatdaily. Try to get some fun in on the weekend if there’s nogame.

Juggling a schedule as tight as this, and maintaining a 2.0average to be eligible to compete in collegiate level sports can bestressful to say the least.

Student-athletes do it every semester. Thanks to a generousmillion-dollar donation and a staff committed to undergraduateacademics, they have a campus resource that keeps them on theirgame in and out of the classroom.

The Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center in Gerald J. FordStadium was the brainchild of former SMU president Dr. A. KennethPye. In 1989, Pye decided to combine the tools of a writing center,a tutoring network and reading workshops into a centralizedlocation.

“We’re here to help students with the transitionfrom high school to college life,” associate directorPatricia Feldman said.

“It’s important to us that students don’t justsurvive, but that they succeed,” Feldman said.

Athletes make-up only about 20 percent of the students who usethe ALEC’s services, and most first-year student-athletes arerequired to study there for a certain number hours per week.

“I come here to study because I can get help when I needit,” said first-year men’s basketball guard DemetricBennett.

Bennett has a weekly four-hour minimum, and says he has so muchstuff to do that coming here makes handling it all a loteasier.

The ALEC focuses on improving students’ note-taking,organization, reading and time management skills. During tutoringhours, there is more emphasis on the first and second year courses,which determine what subset students will choose to study. The ALECis also expanding its concentration on helping transferstudents.

“It’s a really welcoming and friendly workingenvironment,” said transfer basketball player Juli Colli.

“The only downside is that there are only three hours youcan come during the week, and it’s hard to plan your schedulearound that sometimes,” Colli said.

Students can choose to study in an open area with a group or usemore private rooms with a one-on-one tutor.

Tutors are sometimes students who have mastered the coursesthemselves, so they often understand the pressures of the courseand can give incite to the demands of a particularprofessor’s testing style.

“We’re seeking to make students morewell-rounded,” ALEC director Vicki Hill said.”It’s not that the students can’t do it on theirown. It’s just that they have so many other competing demandson their time. So when they come to us, they learn more efficientlyand effectively,” Hill said.

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