Your  Account:

April 2020


From the Dean...

Dear Faculty and Staff,  

Oh my! This last month has marked an unprecedented moment for the CSUSM community, one that reflects the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. My sincere hope is that you and yours are safe and well.  

I write with a simple request that is sure to uplift many students and help us prepare for the next academic year. I invite you to contribute to the hiring process for Fall 2020 peer educators in the Academic Success CenterSTEM Success Center, and Writing Center by encouraging strong students in your courses who have a penchant for helping others to apply for paid positions in the academic learning centers. We welcome your student recommendations.  We need your recommendations to fill approximately 150 peer educator positions.  Read below for more details. 

I assure you—you will boost your students’ confidence by sending them a quick email encouraging them to apply or by simply forwarding this newsletter to them. Even more, you will take pride in knowing that your successful students today will be supporting your students next year. Promise!  

To support you and your students this semester in our new virtual environments, check out the Keep Teaching and Keep Learning websites. 

Thank you for your resiliency and for your enduring support of our students and each other. 
Be well, 

Dawn M. Formo, Ph.D.   
Dean, Undergraduate Studies 
Division of Academic Affairs 
Pronouns: she/her/hers 

Help Your Students Help Each Other!

The success of CSUSM’s academic tutoring and Supplemental Instruction begins with your student referrals. The hiring process has begun. We encourage you to refer successful students who you believe have the qualities to serve as a peer educator in the Academic Success Center, STEM Success Center, and Writing Center 

Who tends to make a successful peer educator?
Students who have had to work to succeed in your classes and who welcome the opportunity to support their peers tend to make strong tutors and Supplemental Instruction leads.

How should students determine which Center is the best match for their skillset? 
Direct your students to the Centers for Learning and Academic Success Services   where they can visit each of the center websites.

How should students apply? 
Direct them to  or the center’s individual websites.

When are applications due? 
Applications are due by April 24.

How and when will interviews be conducted? 
Via Teams and Zoom in late April and early May.

The academic learning centers are a busy place! During the 18/29 AY, 150 peer educators supported nearly 55,000 student visits. Research makes clear the power of the peer. The peer educators serve as the bridge between students and professors.  At the same time, peer educators develop invaluable skills that serve them well in graduate school and professionally.  

You are our best resource in filling the numerous openings in our academic learning centers. Thank you for encouraging students to apply!

Student Highlights: The Faces of CLASS

By Calla Conway, OUGS Student Assistant for Digital Communications

What- if anything, does working for CLASS teach you about working, teaching, and yourself?

student alex picasso

Alex Picasso, a STEM tutor said working for CLASS helps to instill “confidence, a foundational belief in oneself, and the learning process to grow and learn with students.”

 Would you recommend working for CLASS to other students, and why?

student Daniel Ruiz

STEM tutor Daniel Ruiz replied, “Of course. It gets you to swim, interact with people, makes you see if you really know your material and are then exposed to translating, which helps you appreciate the learning process."

 What strengths do you think you and your peer-workers bring to the job?

student Jillian Sandvig

Jillian Sandvig, student assistant for the Writing Center, replied that the environment in CLASS “mirrors the diverse campus,” of CSUSM. “It has every type of person, economically, and racially.”

 What was the process of your hiring?

student Kailey Lyche

Kailey Lyche, a tutor for the Writing Center, described a straightforward hiring process, “I applied through handshake, submitted my resume, got an email, and then had one interview, a week later.”


What I Wish My Professor Knew About Teams: A Suggestion from a Student  

By Calla Conway, OUGS Student Assistant for Digital Communications

Now more than ever, virtual resources are central to the way students will succeed in their courses. What I found most compelling when I entered my role as student writer for this digital newsletter in my junior year here at CSUSM was the entire untouched network totally unbeknownst to most students—Microsoft Teams. Here was a way to connect with every person connected to campus, a place where I could utilize Microsoft Word, Excel, and save my files for free, which I know is a big deal for more students on campus than just me. Microsoft Teams can help build CSUSM into more than an interpersonal community, but as a virtual one, too. 

This information is easily conveyed and largely accessible.  Friendly Suggestion to the Faculty: I think a simple mention in an email to your class or a shout-out in your syllabi can hand students a wealth of resources for free that can help carry them through to graduation. 

One way I did struggle once I had access was with the login. If you direct your students to Microsoft Teams, it is important to note that the login system requires that students drop the “cougars” from their email to login.

Example: becomes

Microsoft Teams can help connect students to the plethora of CSUSM resources that our campus community offers and be used as another tool for academic success!

Teaching and Learning Resources for Faculty and Students

In this trying time, students can also find a helpful resource in the Keep Learning website, which offers students helpful tips and tricks to maintain their studies. Likewise, faculty can refer to the Keep Teaching website for tips on virtual instruction.