The Vulcan Materials Academic Success Center

The Vulcan Materials Academic Success Center (VMASC) promotes and fosters undergraduate student success, enhances academic performance, and inspires students to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. Our resources are intentionally designed to facilitate experiences that encourage student persistence and prepare students for life after graduation.

Academic Services

Exploratory Advising

Academic advising at UAB supports the teaching and learning mission of the University by guiding students through their academic journey and helping students understand the value of achieving their goals in and out of the classroom. The Exploratory Advising initiative is designed to support students who have not declared a major, or are considering changing their major, and want to think more critically about the options among all of UAB's degree-granting programs. Our team of Academic Advisors are professionally trained to assist you as you prepare to declare your major and define your career interests. We feel strongly that Academic advising captures the essence of a student’s potential by focusing on the development of a mutually beneficial academic and graduation plan of action. To make an appointment with your Academic Advisor, please visit us here. 

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support model that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions to improve student retention and success within targeted, historically difficult courses. The weekly review sessions are facilitated by “SI Leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course (received an A or B) and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and work directly with the course’s faculty. The program encourages collaborative learning and shows students how to integrate course content and study skills. SI is a free and voluntary service.

Supplemental Instruction is associated with improved student outcomes such that students who attend SI sessions earn one half to a whole letter grade higher than their peers who do not attend SI sessions. Data indicate that SI is an effective method to enhance student success across disciplines. More information on SI can be found here.

Success Advising

Success Advising is facilitated by a professional educators in the VMASC and takes place in a one on one session. Sessions are conducted in an effort to identify and assess any external factors that may be impairing a student’s overall success at UAB. Students are welcome to seek success advising on a need basis, or welcome to set up a regular schedule to meet with their success advisor throughout the semester to create and track implementation of an academic success plan based on their individual goals. The goal of success advising is to provide the student with the skills and resources necessary in all areas directly correlated to academic and overall student success. Appointments can be made online here.

Tutoring

The Vulcan Material Academic Success Center provides free course-specific tutoring services to UAB undergraduate students. Tutoring is offered in both one-on-one and group sessions. Our tutoring sessions are tailored to address undergraduate students’ questions and needs as we aim to foster independent learning. Appointments can be made online here.

Academic Success Workshops

Academic success workshops are designed to provide students with an interactive experience that will enhance their academic learning. Workshops are organized by topic and designed to meet the demands of college-level academics. Common topics presented are related to Study Skills, Learning Strategies, and Time Management.  All workshops are facilitated by faculty or staff at UAB and are offered throughout the semester. The schedule of events may be viewed here.

For more information or to make an appointment, please stop by the Vulcan Materials Academic Success Center on the second floor of the Education building, 901 13th Street South, across from the Sterne Library Starbucks, or please call 934-8184.

Courses

UASC 101. Exploring UAB. 1 Hour.

The purpose of this course is to assist students in their transition to UAB by providing essential navigational tools and resources to encourage student engagement and a strong persistence towards graduation. These strategies include intentional major, degree, and career outlook planning; using time more efficiently; developing academic skills in reading, note taking, studying, and test taking; enhancing critical thinking and problem solving; developing networking and communication skills; and encouraging campus involvement.

UASC 105. Keys to Academic Success. 2 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to assist students in applying strategies for college success. These strategies include using technology and library resources for processing and retrieving information; planning and using time more efficiently; developing academic skills in reading, note taking, studying, and test taking; enhancing critical thinking and problem solving; developing networking and communication skills; encouraging campus involvement; and incorporating wellness habits.

UASC 150. Career Planning and Management. 3 Hours.

Understanding aptitudes, abilities, and interests as related to career alternatives. Group and individual experiences aid self-direction in planning and career management. Values, preferences, skills, and personal resources matched with educational and employment opportunities using a variety of experiences and resources.

UASC 203. Connections: The Transfer Student Seminar. 2 Hours.

This course is designed to facilitate the successful transition of UAB transfer students by reinforcing the resources and skills needed to be succeed at a research university. The course will help students explore what it means to be a successful UAB student by providing information about managing transitions. Students will also be introduced to campus resources, gain knowledge of academic supports, become familiar with university policies and procedures along with participating in out of class activities.

UASC 206. Sophomore Year Experience: Med School Prep 101. 2 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with both an introduction and understanding of the necessary requirements and skills needed in preparation for medical school. In addition, students will explore the foundations of medicine and health and actively participate in service related activities to understand the reciprocal relationship between theory and practice. Furthermore, students will use said information to formulate group presentations for future research, advocacy, or continued service.