A student and student tutor working together in the CAS on a math problem.  Zing, who is an accounting major, is a math tutor at the CAS.

The CAS (Center for Academic Support) is one of the hidden gems on the Missouri Western campus. It provides many resources to the students, from help with an English assignment to reviewing math homework. 

Susan Garrison is the director and writing coordinator for the CAS. She has been working there for 11 years, the last six of which she has worked as the director. When asked what drew her to Missouri Western, Garrison said the school's mission and the idea that anyone can be successful in college were appealing. 

Garrison talked about what the CAS has to offer for students.

“We provide free tutoring for all Missouri Western State University students,” Garrison said. “We also put on workshops for juniors and seniors wanting to take the graduate record exam. Anything that is helping students academically; that’s what our goal is to help them.” 

Devine Kroening is the new administrative assistant for the CAS and has been working there since March of 2022. Kroening talked about how important it is to have a resource like the CAS for students on campus, whether they are struggling academically or not. She talks about how vital it is to instill confidence in students. 

“I think it’s really important,” Kroening said. “It helps build academic confidence. You don’t need to be flunking a class to come in. You can just come in and have somewhere to work.” 

At the CAS, the tutors are primarily students that attend Missouri Western. Students teaching students is something that the CAS has always done, and Garrison talks about the benefits of current students assisting their peers. 

“It’s much more effective for somebody your age to tutor somebody your age,” Garrison said.

“They know what's going on and oftentimes have had the same professor. It becomes common ground. The tutors have a good sense of what the stressors are in college and how they can help other students.” 

Nic Schultz, a senior marketing major at Missouri Western, spoke about the transformative experience the CAS provided him in a short timeframe. Schultz recalled that his first few years at college were overwhelming and a struggle as classes and extracurriculars built up. 

“For the first time in my entire life, I was good at math,” Schultz said. “That’s how much the CAS helped me. I failed my first college math class and decided to get a tutor. After the CAS I passed my class with a 102%. That was the highest grade I’ve ever received.” 

Garrison encouraged anyone to come to the CAS for a quiet place to study or to get help. One of the newest features of the CAS is on the CAS website, where students can submit a paper online. Tutors will review the writing and get back with corrections within 48 hours. 

The CAS is located next to the library and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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