Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center is a group of staff representing eight programs and services that works collaboratively to support students toward their academic success and assist students to achieve their Fitchburg State University degree.

Our collective approach is pro-active and student centered. We utilize the resources of the Fitchburg State University community of students, faculty and staff to encourage the development of the whole person.

We encourage students to use our programs and services and realize how the Center staff can assist them to achieve their goals.

Do you prefer to receive this information in an alternate format, such as Braille or e-text? Please contact Disability Services at 978-665-4020.

Academic Advising Center

Heather Beam
Academic Advisor

The Academic Advising Center specializes in assisting students with various academic concerns. The Advising Center provides services for students who have not declared their major, students who are experiencing academic difficulty, students in need of assistance with academic regulations, and students seeking credit for their life experience. The Academic Advising Center advises all pre-major students. The “Focus on the Future” program offers individualized academic advising services that assist pre-major students in their process of determining a major. The Advising Center is also a vital resource for faculty. Visit our website.

Eligibility: All registered pre-major students, students on academic probation or suspension, and non-traditional students seeking life experience credit.
Location: Hammond Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 322
Availability: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Career Center

Erin C. Kelleher, M. Ed.

Diane Maynard
Support Staff

The Career Center provides a variety of programs and services to assist students and alumni in planning for career decisions during and after Fitchburg State. Students receive counseling on choosing a career, job search, occupational information and selecting a graduate school or professional program. Programs and services include: career counseling, graduate school advisement, career assessment/interest inventories and on-campus and off campus career events.

Eligibility: All Fitchburg State University students and alumni
Location: Hammond Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 318
Availability: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Evening hours by appointment only.

Counseling Services

Robert Hynes, Ph.D., LMHC

Lauren O'Brien, LMHC
Assistant Director

Elizabeth Fineberg, LICSW
Associate Director

Ann Szkaradek
Support Staff

The Counseling Services Office provides confidential services to enrolled students at no charge. Clinicians are available for individual, group, and couples counseling, crisis intervention, educational programming, outreach workshops, community referrals and in-service training. Typical reasons for seeking counseling include: coping with loss, relationship concerns, loneliness/homesickness, self-esteem problems, family problems, sexuality issues, feelings of depression or anxiety, and stress.

Eligibility: All enrolled students.
Location: Hammond Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 317
Availability: Monday–Friday 8:30am–5:00pm, Walk-In Hours 2:00pm–3:00pm

On-call response (for emergencies) 24 hours a day during regular academic year.
Call Campus Police Department after hours at Ext. 3111 or 978-665-3111.

Disability Services

Katrina Durham

Francine Menendez-Aponte
Coordinator of Interpreter Services

Julie Maki
Coordinator of Adaptive Computer Lab & Testing Center

Ambray Ernst
Support Staff

Disability Services provides reasonable accommodations for Fitchburg State students, allowing equal access to all university programs and services. The primary objective of Disability Services is to empower students with disabilities to engage in all facets of Fitchburg State University's academic, residential, and student life. For additional information please visit the department's website.

Services & Accommodations

Some examples of services and academic accommodations are listed below.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of services.

  • Adaptive software and computer equipment (such as text-to-speech and magnification)
  • Testing accommodations (such as out of classroom testing and extended time testing)
  • Alternate format materials (for example, Braille or electronic text)
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Reduced course load waiver (below 12 credits)
  • Academic skill-building workshops
  • Support with the development of leadership, self-advocacy, self-determination skills

Please note: Students are responsible for scheduling out of classroom testing (i.e. time and a half, non-distractive environment) at least one week prior to the date of the exam. If you have already registered with the office and need to schedule a test with Disability Services, email us at

Adaptive Computer Lab

This lab allows students registered with Disability Services alternate access to a variety of technology resources, including:

  • Text to speech software (screen readers)
  • Screen magnification software
  • CCTV (magnification of text)
  • Organizational software
  • Voice recognition software
  • Alternate input devices
  • Adapted keyboards
  • Ergonomic/Accessible workstations

Eligibility: All registered students with a documented disability.
Location: Office located in Hammond 303
Availability: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Expanding Horizons Program

Jason Smith

Jessica Shea
Program Support

Elizabeth Swartz
Career & Peer Mentor Coordinator

Lauren Cappuccio
Academic Counselor

Our purpose is to contribute to the Fitchburg State University's overall mission to prepare students to lead, serve and succeed by fostering lifelong learning and civic and global responsibility. We provide services to 160 first-generation, low-income, and/or students with a disability as they pursue a college degree from Fitchburg State University. Our goal is to enhance student success through the facilitation of various campus initiatives that directly improve retention, and graduation.

  • Support of Peer Mentors (Upper class EHP students)
  • Extended pre-semester orientation for eligible freshmen and transfer students
  • Individualized academic assessment
  • Academic counseling, including study skills and time management skills training
  • Pre-advising and assistance with course selection
  • Personal problem solving
  • Peer tutors in mathematics courses and other subjects
  • Mid-semester progress reports from faculty
  • Group and individual tutoring with professional and/or peer tutors
  • Career counseling, including resume development/preparation
  • Informational seminars
  • Social and cultural activities and events
  • Use of EHP office and computer lab
  • Financial aid literacy education and financial aid advising including federal Pell grants, loan forgiveness programs, public and private scholarships and assistance in completing FAFSA.
  • Admission and Financial Counseling for Graduate and Professional Programs.

Eligibility: All registered undergraduate students who are either first-generation to attend a university (neither parent has obtained a baccalaureate degree), and/or low-income and/or student with a documented disability.
Location: Hammond, 3rd Floor, Room 315
Availability: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Other evening hours by appointment.

International Education


Tracey Sarefield
Study Abroad Advisor

Dena Reuben
International Coordinator

International Education site

The Office of International Education provides a number of services including:

Study Abroad Opportunities

Fitchburg State students have the opportunity to study in another country for a semester or a year or a faculty led short-term program. Various programs are offered in several locations including the U.K., China, France, Germany, Italy and Spain...

Support for International Students

International students can receive assistance with immigration issues, academic concerns, employment information, and personal issues. We also provide orientation and programs to help aid with international students’ transitions and retention.

Eligibility: All registered students
Location: Hammond Building, 3rd floor, Room 316
Availability: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Math Center

Chris Coffin
Director of Peer Services, Testing and Placement

The Math Center offers peer tutors who specialize in one-on-one tutoring for mathematics courses on a walk-in basis. Tutoring is available for fundamentals of arithmetic and algebra through upper level mathematics courses including statistics and calculus.  Tutors will guide you and provide an explanation of the concepts and steps to solving your specific mathematics questions.  Peer tutors focus on effective learning strategies that develop a student's understanding and skills.

The Math Center is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00am to 7:00pm.  Students affiliated with Disability Services and the Expanding Horizons Program can request individual math tutoring by contacting the Tutor Center.  All other students must use the Math Center as a walk-in service.  A listing of specific subject specialties and tutors' hours are posted at the Math Center and on its website.

Eligibility: All registered students
Location: Hammond, 3rd Floor, Room 306A
Availability: Monday through Thursday 11:00am to 7:00pm
Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 8:00am–5:00pm, Friday 8:00am-4:00pm

Tutor Center

Chris Coffin
Director of Peer Services, Testing and Placement

Thomas Driscoll, M. Ed.
Academic Coach

Camille LaCroix
Administrative Assistant & Academic Coach

Denise Hampson
Support Staff

Overview of the Tutorial Services

The Tutor Center's 60 peer tutors offer free individual peer tutoring, in 80 subjects, representing 19 majors serving freshmen to seniors. The tutor Center promotes a culture where students seek tutoring and academic coaching services early in the semester to prevent academic problems throughout the semester. Tutors meet weekly with students in the library and are available by appointment seven days a week at mutually agreeable times during the day, evening or weekends.

Individual Tutoring

Tutoring sessions focus on reviewing and explaining concepts and specific topics. Tutors also introduce study and learning methods that assist students to develop new habits for learning. Students can request a peer tutor who they can study with twice weekly. On average, each year, 950 students use one of more of the tutoring services available to assist them to develop their study habits, improve their understanding of topics and concepts, prepare for tests, and increase their grades. To request a tutor please visit or call the Tutor Center to make a 20 minute appointment. Students benefit most from tutoring by requesting a tutor within the first five weeks of the semester and study with their tutor twice weekly.

Academic Coaching

Professional Academic Coaches guide students in becoming successful interdependent learners by coaching students in the application of essential learning principles and study strategies, such as time management & balancing competing priorities, organization, goal setting & attainment, note-taking, test taking & study skills, reading comprehension, writing skills, and the use of technology tools to maximize learning. Coaches assist students in implementing learning strategies that align with their individual learning style & strengths, while helping students enhance academic skills in areas they wish to improve. Students will form new study habits to the benefit of their academic performance and develop academic confidence.

Academic Coaches also support students' academic success by matching students with peer & professional tutors, providing referrals to other campus resources, and assisting students in their process of determining a major/career. Students typically meet with their assigned Academic Coach either weekly or bi-weekly for 30-60 minute sessions. Academic Coaches are available to meet with students by appointment Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00am to 8:00pm.

Group Tutoring

Group Tutoring is offered in selected courses. Groups of 2-5 students meet for 75 minutes weekly lead by a peer or professional tutor trained in supplemental instruction and collaborative learning activities. Through group discussion the tutors' goal is to maximize each member's learning of the main concepts and supporting details of each class lesson, integrate learning strategies, and practice reasoning skills.

Writing Tutoring

For help with writing assignments in any subject individual peer writing tutors are available by request. Students can also submit their papers to professional online writing tutors. To log in to eTutoring then select "Log in Now", Select "Northeast eTutoring Consortium," Select Fitchburg State University. With a focus on clear communication, the peer and professional tutors work together with writers at all levels, in all stages of the writing process from planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading. Each meeting begins in the same manner with a discussion of the assignment. What happens next depends on where the student is in the writing process and what their needs are. Tutors do not write on, or edit the students' papers. The student is the author, problems are addressed together, but the student makes the final writing decisions. Further information on the writing process and writing resources can be found here.

MTEL Test Preparation

Freshmen Education majors are required to pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST) Reading and Writing sub-tests prior to completing two semesters.

The Tutor Center offers a six-session, twelve-hour, preparation seminar facilitated by professional instructors to assist students to prepare for this test. Students can also request individual peer tutors, who have passed the test, to provide further assistance to prepare for the CLST Writing sub-test. Individualized professional Academic Coaching is also available to assist students with preparing for the CLST Reading sub-test.

Students can enroll in this Seminar, offered in the Fall and Spring semesters, using seat availability listed as EDUC MTEL-CLST Preparation Seminar. To make an appointment to request services, visit the Tutor Center office. Further information on Tutor Center Services can be found here.

Eligibility: All registered students
Location: Hammond, 3rd floor, Room 306
Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 8:00am – 8:00pm, Fridays 8:00 – 5:00pm
Availability: Tutors meet with students in the library and are available by appointment seven days a week at mutually agreeable times during the day, evening or weekends.