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November 2020 Newsletter

Happy Fall! We are excited to connect with all of you and share what’s happening this quarter with our new national network!

Happy Fall! We are excited to connect with all of you and share what’s happening this quarter with our new national network!

In this issue:

  • Quarterly Briefing
  • Working Group Updates
  • Best Practices & Strategy Share
  • Campus Spotlight
  • Staying Connected
Blue Ridge parkway

Quarterly Briefing

We are looking forward to getting together at our Quarterly Brie􀂦ng this month! Please join us at this meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, November 17 (11:00-2:00 ET) at


Meeting ID: 943 3222 5254

Passcode: CS2020

Working Group Updates


The K-12 Working Group launched the 􀂦rst ever College STAR Conference last week! During this 11 hour virtual event, we had a total of eight presentations and 17 presenters share their expertise. A huge thanks to all of the folks who supported us and worked hard to make this conference possible! Please join us in reflecting on this important pilot experience during the Quarterly Briefing later this month. We are looking forward to planning the next virtual conference in 2021!

Research Team

Research Team

The time allocation data collection ended on November 1st. We are asking all programs to send their DEIDENTIFIED raw data to me (grayal18@ecu.edu).

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Alysha Gray at grayal18@ecu.edu or 252-328-0284.

Resource Team

The Facebook page is up and running! Please share content and participate in networking with each other. Feel free to invite others to join our social media page as well. We look forward to connecting with you all!


Resource Team


As we all know, stress and anxiety levels are high for many of our learners. Navigating the in’s and out’s of online learning coupled with the additional stressors of being a day-to-day college student create a recipe for burn-out and shut-downs. Helping students navigate through these challenging experiences can be di􀂨cult at a distance. Below are strategies and tools that may provide some assistance.

Many of these are from the Appalachian State University Counseling Center self-help resources.

Know of additional resources not listed here? SHARE THEM ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE!


Coping with Anxiety can be a difficult task for diverse learners. Dr. Emily Campbell and the Greater Good Science Center have some suggestions.



Use exercise to “boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, and more…” (Robinson, Segal, & Smith, 2020).

Campus Spotlight


As-U-R is an intensive student support program focused on supporting students with executive function challenges (EFCs). Skills related to academic success, such as organization, planning and setting priorities, getting started and completing tasks, monitoring progress on tasks, and decision-making are referred to as executive function skills.

Executive function challenges are de􀂦ned as chronic difficulties in organizing, planning, and carrying out tasks and can make success in college-level academics much more difficult. Some college students with EFCs may have previously been assessed for or even diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability, but others may not, despite struggling with such tasks.

Learn more about Executive Function Challenges

We have the capacity to support approximately 100 students at any given time. In addition to our full-time staff (As-U-R Director and As-U-R Learning Specialist), As-U-R has a support staff team of seven graduate assistants that intensively support our student population. Our program is 100% free.

APP State AS-U-R
  • Accountability: As-U-R provides intensive academic accountability to students through weekly one-on-ones with a Mentor, as well as assistance in creating weekly study times. As-UR is located in Study Central in Edwin Duncan Hall Suite 213 and is designed to serve as a library space and mentor meeting space for our students. We recognize some students have preferences for other study spaces on campus, but using Study Central as a primary study space gives students direct access to assistance from Support Staff, as well as an ability to engage with the As-U-R community of students..
  • Community: Along with the intensive academic support that As-U-R students receive, community is also a large contributing aspect that makes this program successful. As-U-R produces an environment that is always positive and it is so encouraging to see our students motivate one another on a daily basis. Students are encouraged to participate in wellness and social activities together outside of academics, which is an important part of student stress relief.
  • Drop in & Appointment Based Support: In addition to weekly mentor meetings, we recognize that crises do occur. Students are always welcome to come seek support from the As-U-R Director or As-U-R Learning Specialist on a drop-in basis if issues arise. Additionally, students seeking further assistance with learning strategy development may make an appointment with the As-U-R Learning Specialist to further dive into these skills.
  • Seminar: As-U-R provides an ability for students to further engage with the As-U-R community, as well as learn relevant skills related to EFCs, through access to semester long seminars. These seminars are offered for elective credit and taught by As-U-R Staff. While these courses are not mandatory, they are strongly encouraged.
  • Study Material & Learning Assistance Technology: As-U-R students are given access to necessary study tools, such as highlighters, notecards, Cornell note-taking paper, and list and planner tools. Students also have the option to use Livescribe Smart Pens to assist with notetaking. Students can rent a Livescribe 3 Smart Pen with a notebook at any point during the semester from the As-U-R Director. Additionally, Study Central provides access to free printing and access to desktop computers, as well as PC laptops, Macbooks, and Kindle Fires. Students can rent these from the As-U-R Director while completing homework in Study Central.
  • Weekly Mentoring: All As-U-R students are matched with a Support Staff Member to work with on a weekly basis throughout the semester. Every As-U-R student is required to have one academic check-in (minimum) per week with the As-U-R Director, As-U-R Learning Specialist, or another Graduate Assistant Support Staff Member. These weekly, regularly occurring meetings are a mandatory support for As-U-R students and are expected to be treated with the same priority as attending class. Expectations will be thoroughly discussed at the first semester meeting and an As-U-R contract will be signed between the As-U-R mentor and student. During weekly meetings with their mentor, students will receive individualized organizational support for the week, which includes creating a weekly plan for completion of assignments that are due, as well as assistance navigating ASULearn and ensuring that all assignments are submitted on a timely basis. Additionally, students have access to intensive executive skill coaching with As-U-R’s Learning Specialist, as well as with their trained As-U-R mentor. Lastly, As-U-R collaborates with other campus resources to ensure all As-U-R student needs are being met. If needed, As-U-R mentors will walk students to necessary campus supports, or assist them in making an appointment with the support. The As-U-R Director and Learning Specialist work hard to create individualized support plans for each As-U-R studentand academic needs are reassessed each semester. The amount of support each student receives varies by a semester to semester basis. Please keep in mind that receiving weekly one-on-one assistance is a privilege. If students violate the respect of their mentor by consistently not showing up, or showing up late, this privilege will be taken away. The ultimate goal for our program is to create academically independent students by providing intensive support in the beginning of their As-U-R program acceptance, with the intention that students will learn the necessary skills to take ownership of their education at Appalachian State University.
College STAR Student Support Summit 2019

Staying Connected

Please mark your calendars for our quarterly full-group meeting opportunities via Zoom:

Tuesday, November 17 – 11:00-2:00 EST


Meeting ID: 943 3222 5254
Passcode: CS2020