October 4, 2023

Just in Time for Back to School

By Derik Wolfe, Success Center Specialist

Over the course of six weeks, the Writing Center conducted twelve Ask a Specialist Study Hall sessions that provided the opportunity for students to attend live cyber sessions regarding academic writing and APA formatting discussions.

Matthew Willett, a writing specialist in the Success Center who participated as one of the hosts for these sessions, had this to say about the experience: “This was a great way to connect with students; it was interesting to see how students interacted not only with us but with each other.”

These sessions gave students the chance to interact with one another and converse on various writing and APA topics. Half of the sessions consisted of open topics while the other half focused on specific aspects of writing and APA formatting.

Many students came in with only a few questions but ended up learning about other features of APA that they never discussed before. Willett went on to say, “In many cases, students came out of those sessions with answers to questions that they didn’t even know they had. It was fascinating to see this new learning space in action.”

A few of the APA-related sessions were geared toward different parts of APA formatting: in-text citations, references for commonly used sources, proper formatting of assignments within CSU courses, and academic writing styles.

During these twelve weeks, attendance and interaction was steady, and the concept as a whole received positive feedback.

The Writing Center is always searching and experimenting with new ways and resources to provide exceptional assistance to every Columbia Southern University student.

The Ask a Specialist Study Halls were beneficial to not only the students, but also to the hosts because they gave insight into the learning techniques and strategies that students use.

By figuring more out on how students learn, initiatives like this give specialists a chance to improve resources and teaching techniques. The Ask a Specialist Study Hall pilot program provided that opportunity to our specialists and proved to be a beneficial experiment.

If you would like to see more Ask a Specialist Study Halls, please let us know by emailing, or click here to answer some questions about what you would like to see in our study halls.

For additional information regarding the Success Center, be sure to check out the Success Center Newsletter.