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Help Seeking

Willingness and tendency to reach out for help when working through a problem

If you went to the tutoring center on your average college campus, who do you think you’d find? More students currently getting a B, trying to get an A? Or more students currently getting a D trying to work up to a C?


You’d probably find more students with a B working towards that A.


This is because seeking help is one of the best strategies to foster learning. If you think about it, going to college in and of itself is a way of asking for help. You’re looking to learn from your instructors, looking for guidance from your advisors, and looking for collaboration from your fellow students.


Keep in mind that, whenever you run into a challenge, there is certainly value in working and persisting to address that problem on your own. BUT, when it gets to the point that you’ve exhausted your effort, done all that you can, ask someone for help. Your instructors, advisors, and other faculty and staff are here just for that purpose.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something and to learn something new.
Barack Obama

How can I improve my Help Seeking?

Strategies to Use

  • If you’re uncomfortable asking for help, take a quick walk the next time you’re on campus. Find an office or program that you don’t know, and ask someone at the front desk what they do there. You’ll find that people aren’t all that scary, and actually looking forward to lending a hand.

Resources at Western Carolina

  • The Division of Student Success provides the resources needed to help you reach your academic potential and complete your degree that will lead to opportunities beyond WCU. Refer to the Division of Student Success for support in academic advising, career and professional development, tutoring, and mentoring. 

  • The Mentoring and Persistence to Success (MAPS) connects first generation and independent students with resources to accomplish their academic and personal goals. These resources encompass skills coaching, academic guidance, exploration of majors/careers, as well as the provision of social and personal assistance.

  • The Compass Program provides additional guidance and support for first-generation, low income, or independent students. Students who are accepted into the Compass Program not only have full access to the services provided by MAPS but are matched with a MAPS academic coach who serves as a guide throughout their academic journey at WCU. 

  • The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) provides campus-wide accessibility support services such as testing accommodations, assistive technology, and OAR coaching. 

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