CUSP workshops aim to help students with grades, stress

Tricia Friesen

It’s that time of the semester again: time to crack open the books and a Redbull and spend countless hours at the library preparing for finals. But for some Washburn students, preparing for finals may not be that easy; that’s why Washburn University’s Center for Undergraduate Studies and Programs is on campus to help.

According to its Web site, the mission of CUSP is to provide Academic Advising that ensures students starting out at Washburn receive proper support and guidance for different academic programs. Also, CUSP helps students fulfill their academic potential and provides career counseling, testing, and support for University evaluation initiatives.

Don Vest, director of counseling and testing at the CUSP office, has expertise in several areas including: time management, classroom learning, textbook learning, preparing for tests and taking tests. He also holds different workshops throughout the semester. He encourages students that attend his workshops to have individual follow-up sessions with him.

“I become a coach or a cheerleader. I am in their corner,” said Vest.

There are three topics Vest covers when dealing with these testing issues: a relaxation technique, time management and cognitive psychology. The relaxation technique helps the student learn to relax and identify where their stress points are. Time management deals with what kind of study skills or habits the student utilizes before a test. Finally, cognitive psychology is the thought process or self messages a student sends him or her.

Of these three topics, Vest finds that time management effects most students.

“Everyone can improve on learning skills,” said Vest. “People learn in many different ways and it’s important to see what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

Vest has two workshops that are approaching. From 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Morgan Hall, Room 122, Vest will be holding the workshop “Getting More Sleep and Better Grades.” This workshop will cover current studies done about disturbed sleep and its effects on an individual’s cognitive functioning which may result in lower test scores.

The second workshop will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in Morgan Hall Room 122, called “Preparing For Finals” which will cover strategies that are effective when preparing for exams.