H.E.L.P. Center offers academic support to Marshall students

From small beginnings in a cramped basement office in Jenkins Hall, the Higher Education for Learning Problems Center (H.E.L.P.)  has grown over a 35-year time span.

Although their growth has been extremely beneficial, they do not want to grow too large to the point where they cannot help the individual students, said Coordinator of Student Affairs and Special Projects Diane Williams. 

“We would rather see fewer students be successful and be able to really help them then to have a lot of students and just give them a glance,” Williams said. 

Located on the Marshall University campus in Myers Hall and housing seven unique divisions, H.E.L.P. is a comprehensive fee-based academic support program that aids a variety of students. Williams said the H.E.L.P. Center focuses a majority of their effort is the College H.E.L.P. Program.

The College H.E.L.P. Program is a “tutoring support program for college students who are diagnosed with a specific learning disability and/or attention deficit disorder,” Williams said.

There are two types of tutoring available to students in the College H.E.L.P. Program – academic tutoring and skills development. 

According to Williams, academic tutoring focuses on a student’s specific school subjects, while skills development works to strengthen a student’s individual skills like reading comprehension, written expression or time management. 

Community H.E.L.P. and Medical H.E.L.P. are two other divisions that are under the H.E.L.P. Center’s umbrella, and they provide help to school students and medical students respectively, Williams said. 

“We get a lot of people in who are taking their specialty boards,” Coordinator of Registration and Tutor Development Renna Moore said. “A lot of them don’t even know that they have a learning disability until they get into med school.” 

Williams said there are probably “quite a few” Marshall students who may have some type of learning disability that they do not know about. 

Due to this prevailing issue, the H.E.L.P. Center offers another division tailored to this specific need called Diagnostic H.E.L.P., said Williams. 

“We have students who will come over, and some of the students have not been identified until they’ve been here,” Williams said. 

“Students often feel ashamed,” Moore said, “and I would encourage them to think about this: if they can find a way that would help them to study smarter and not harder, wouldn’t you want to try that?” 

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].