Academic Assistance

Academic Assistance

Academic Advising
All undergraduate students at StFX are encouraged to access the Academic Advising department for questions related to degree and course requirements, declarations of major,  academic difficulty, dropping courses, interpreting academic calendar regulations, and degree compliance.  Academic Advising also provides information and assistance with letters of permission (taking courses at other institutions), program changes, academic appeals, and withdrawals from the University. Academic Advising offices are located in Nicholson Tower, 3rd floor.  However, there is also an Advisor located in Schwartz room 386. Appointments can be made online at Students can also email inquiries to

Study Halls
Many varsity teams hold mandatory Study Halls throughout the academic year to assist student-athletes with their studies. These will be coordinated through your head coach or an appointed assistant coach/team staff member. Student-athletes are encouraged to take advantage of this quiet study time.

The Library should be one of the buildings on campus to familiarize yourself with BEFORE your fourth year thesis. The library offers on site and e-resources that can help you throughout your degree. They also have friendly helpful staff that are there to assist you in your search. There are also come great quiet spaces to study if your roommate. Visit the library website here:

Student Success Centre
The StFX Student Success Centre instructors assist students from all disciplines in developing their own critical thinking, writing, and self-editing practices. Instructors provide the environment for students to help themselves by emphasizing writing as a process that requires planning, critical reflection, and practice. The Student Success Centre provides one-to-one appointments throughout the year to StFX students, please book in advance online. For more information on the services offered by the Student Success Centre, click here.

Peer tutors are available via the X-Tutoring program run through the StFX Student Union. Almost everyone needs academic assistance at some point help in their University career. Should you find yourself needing assistance, please take advantage of the X-Tutoring program and utilize a tutor.  Often your tutor can show you the best way to study for a particular course, assist with assignments, help prepare you for upcoming tests, midterms or exams, in addition to facilitating the content learning. Visit to find out more on the tutoring program or to get in contact with a tutor today. Tutoring services are also available at the Student Success Centre, with more information available by clicking here.

Peer Mentorship (first-year students)
A Peer Mentor is a trained student volunteer who is committed to helping you navigate your way through your first year. Early in the year you will have an opportunity to be a member of a group of first year students who meet once a week, under the direction of your Peer Mentor. Your Peer Mentor group is designed for you to meet other first year students, ask questions, talk about what’s on your mind, and have fun. For more information or to join a Peer Mentor group, or visit the website at:

  • Attend class.  Examinations are most often based on material covered in class.  If you are going to be away from campus for a game, alert your instructors well ahead of time. Get your assignments in advance, if possible, and determine when the work is due. Let your instructor know when you are ill. Your class attendance may be one criteria used by your professor when assigning final grades.
  • When you are in class, be in class.  Turn off your cell phone.  Turn off email, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. if using your laptop.  Listen to what is being said.  Focus on the class.  Eat before class – it is difficult to focus when you are hungry. Being physically active between classes also helps with concentration. It is almost impossible to learn when you are hungover.
  • Go to class prepared.  You should have all reading and written assignments completed on time. Read a little every day.  Read to understand, not to memorize. If you go to class unprepared, it is often difficult to understand the material presented in class. 
  • Get to know your instructor.  Introduce yourself; this is especially important in large classes. If you have questions relative to the course, meet with your instructor – during his or her office hours (for some professors immediately before or after class is NOT a good time for questions).  It may be best to set up an appointment beforehand. Your professor is interested in your performance in the classroom and will generally be happy to discuss material related to the course.
  • Make a good impression.  Go to class on time.  Entering class late causes a disruption.  Avoid reading newspapers, wearing headsets, or using cell phones in class.  When the class is asked a question, offer a response.  When you are asked to work in pairs or groups, work with different students each time and not just your friends.  This way you will obtain a more diverse point of view.  Also when asked to work in pairs or groups, focus on the discussion rather than your student-athlete life. Every time you interact with professor or classmate you will create an impression – try to make every interaction a positive one.   
  • Do not let little problems become big problems.  If you feel yourself falling behind in class, contact your academic advisor or your coach for help. Do this right away.  Do not wait until you fail a midterm or an assignment. Also, remember, instructors are here to teach. Don’t be afraid to make an appointment and ask questions about material that you do not understand. Make sure someone knows you need help before you reach the point where you cannot possibly do well in the course.
  • Attend regular study hall arranged by your coach.  ‘Study hall’ is provided in order to help you develop good study habits and learn the importance of time management. Use your time in study hall wisely.  It is not a time to for Facebook, your cell phone or other social interactions. As a general rule you should plan for one hour of studying for every hour you spend in class.
  • Start your assignments and study for your quizzes/exams BEFORE the night before they are due/scheduled.  When studying or writing papers, turn off your cell phone, Snapchat, etc.
  • Organize your time … NOW!  Put all your classes, assignments, quizzes, exams, as well as your practices and games in your calendar.  Notice the tightness in your schedule.  Plan accordingly. Identify conflicts.  Address this right away. Be proactive.
  • Talk about what you are learning in your classes with your teammates, your friends, your parents.  The more often you talk about what you are learning and how it may apply in your life/work, the better you will understand the material.

StFX Human Kinetics Associate Professor and 3M National Teaching Fellow Dr. Angie Kolen has compiled and shared three Top Ten Lists for improving academic performance.

Angie’s Top 10 for Academic Success at X

#10      Organize your time … NOW!  Put your classes, assignments, quizzes, exams, and any other due dates IN your calendar NOW!  Notice the conflicts/tightness of your schedule: Plan accordingly and be proactive!

#9        Start assignments and/or study for quizzes/exams BEFORE the night before they are due/scheduled.  Turn your cell phone, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. OFF when studying and/or writing papers. 

#8        Read!  Read a little (a lot?) each day.  Read to understand - not to memorize.

#7        Take advantage of opportunities presented in your classes.  Service learning, Research projects, Active learning.

#6        Get to know your professors.  We are people too … don’t be scared of us. Reference letters; Opportunities; Questions

#5        Talk about what you learned in class with your classmates or with your friends (your parents?)

#4        Discuss when given the opportunity to work in pairs/groups.  Get into a different group each time you are asked to work with your classmates

#3        Ask relevant questions in and out of class

#2        When you are in class – be ‘in’ class!

  • Turn off your cell phone (not even vibrate!)
  • Turn off email, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. if using your computer in class
  • Eat before coming to class (in class if allowed)
  • It is almost impossible to learn when you are hung over
  • Be physically active in between classes

#1        Go to Class!  Contained in your classes is a microcosm of human existence assembled for you to query and examine and ponder.  Your classes are not the only place such opportunities are presented, but they are such a place that you cannot participate if you  are not there (paraphrased from T. Wayman - Did I miss anything?)

Angie’s Top 10 Suggestions to Help you Write Better

#10      Ensure you have the materials around you that you need to support your writing.  Library work is done … you are now in the writing stage

#9        Start writing … jot down your thoughts … allow them to flow Do not worry about grammar, punctuation, format … just write

#8        Review what you have written (not for format, but for content).  Do you have all that you need?  Is there any major area missing?

#7        Identify your major paragraphs … organize your thoughts/writing accordingly

#6        Start re-writing so that your thoughts fit within each paragraph

#5        Re-write some more

#4        Let your paper sleep … minimally overnight … then review it again, edit as needed.

#3        Find a comfortable place to write, good lighting, ergonomically correct (still you need to move every hour or so), without distractions.  Turn off your cell phone, TV, close the door, etc.

#2        To write well, you have to be well …

  • fed (snacking during writing can help to keep you awake … choose low calorie, low fat snacks … be careful how much you consume)
  • exercised (any sort of physical activity will do!)
  • slept (you need to sleep 6-9 hours per night!)
  • emotionally-charged … choose to focus on your writing.  Deal with major issues BEFORE you start to write.

#1        Start writing BEFORE the night before it is due! There is too much to do in one night; too much to remember, not enough time to reflect

Angie’s Top 10 Methods of Preparing for Exams

#10      Review your notes after each class, add to them … not necessary to type them – unless that helps you to think about them

#9        Work on problems (math, physics, chemistry, etc.).  Memorize formulas … write them again and again and again.  Use them … several times

#8        Review your notes (memory from lectures) for content … where was the most emphasis put?  Were any hints given?

#7        Read/review textbook and assigned readings (highlighted pieces) … to understand vs. memorize (this is NOT the time to start reading!)

#6        Study with others.  Talk about what you have learned, how it can be applied. Quiz one another.

#5        Ask your professor about the structure of the exam …  Length, types of questions, topics covered, emphasis, etc.

#4        Determine key points for each major topic area covered.  Write these down; review them.  Create acronyms to remember them.

#3        Find a comfortable place to study, good lighting, ergonomically correct (still you need to move every hour or so), without distractions (turn off your cell phone, TV, close the door, etc.)

#2        To study well, you have to be well:

  • fed (snacking during studying can help to keep you awake … choose low calorie, low fat snacks … careful how much you consume
  • exercised (basketball takes care of that!)
  • slept (you need to sleep 6-9 hours per night!)
  • emotionally-charged … choose to focus on your studying or deal with major issues in the way prior to

#1        Start studying BEFORE the night before!  There is too much to cover in one night; too much to remember, not enough time to reflect.