Academic Center for Excellence and Support (ACES)

About the Academic Center for Excellence and Support (ACES)

The Academic Center for Excellence and Support (ACES) at Nichols College is designed to assist and challenge students in developing skills necessary for successful, independent learning. The ACES is a resource to support all Nichols College undergraduate students as they become more confident, independent learners.

Through peer assistance, the ACES works to help Nichols students improve their skills and strengths for academic success. The ACES works to help students reach their academic potential by providing support and guidance for subject areas in which the student hopes to improve.

We have a very talented, caring group of tutors that are well trained in supporting you during your time as a student at Nichols. Please don't hesitate to reach out and benefit from this free resource.

Our Services for Students
Individual Tutoring

The ACES offers appointment-based sessions in mnay courses offered by the college. These sessions are 45 minutes long and should be scheduled ahead of time. You can make an appointment up to two weeks in advance. To schedule an appointment, please email or stop in.

You may call 508-213-2200 (ext. 2200) or stop by the ACES to schedule a session.

You may make up to two appointments per week, per class. We do not allow for back-to-back appointments with the same tutor to be scheduled.

Sessions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis; make sure you plan ahead so you can be guaranteed a session. We cannot ensure that you will work with the same tutor each time you make an appointment.

Group Tutoring

If you prefer to work with a group of your friends or classmates in the same class, you may request a group session. Group tutoring sessions may consist of no more than 4 students. All students must be enrolled in the same section of the same course.

When making the appointment, please specify that you would like a group tutoring session, so your tutor is prepared for group rather than a single student.

Cancelling Your Session

If you need to cancel an appointment please email at as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.

Weekly Tutoring

You may sign up for the same tutor, for the same subject, at the same day and time each week. This allows the tutor to monitor your progress, follow your syllabus, and offer feedback and response to you on a regular basis.

Weekly Session Guidelines

  • You must schedule and attend a one-time appointment at the desired time before making it a weekly
  • Arrive on time and prepared for each session
  • Have the reading and accompanying notes completed
  • Bring your book, notes, assignment, quizzes, tests, and questions about what you're having difficulty with.
  • If working on a paper, come with an idea of what you want to accomplish in the session: thesis, outline, draft, etc.
  • Call the ACES at 508-213-2200 if you have to cancel your appointment. Please let us know as early as possible.
  • Upon a third no-show or cancellation you will be dropped from the weekly tutoring program and asked to make as-needed appointments only.
Scheduling an Appointment

Email the ACES at to schedule an appointment. When making an appointment, please be sure to include: Your name, student ID number, availability and subject or class you need assistance in.

Plan Your Visit

The most successful students take advantage of the resources available to them. Students who use the ACES recognize that they need help in an area and are seeking out that help. This is a good thing! Every Nichols student can benefit from the ACES and our services. All you have to do is come see us!

Tips for Success

  • Bring all the materials for your assignment or exam to the session. Be sure to bring your textbook, assignment, notes, study guide, etc. to the tutorial session. The more we know about the context of your work, the more we can help you succeed.
  • Come ready to work. Tutoring sessions are most effective and successful when you work with your tutor. Tutors are a supplement to class, not a replacement. You should come to a session ready to discuss class topics, ask questions about confusion topics, answer questions on class concepts or readings, and write and revise parts of your paper. We are more than happy to help you, but we won't do the work for you.
  • Have an open mind. Different tutors have different kinds of suggestions and strategies. Listen, consider, and then choose the advice that makes the most sense for the task at hand. If one tutor doesn't provide strategies that you would like to use, you can always request a different tutor.
  • Set a realistic agenda. In your time together, you and your tutor should set goals for the session. Working on two or three major concepts during a session is realistic. Getting through eight chapters of material before an exam is not. Remember, you can always come back again (with the same tutor or someone else) to continue the discussion or start on something new.
  • Work ACES visits into your course schedule. At the beginning of each semester, check to see which of your courses have major exams or writing assignments, or if there are any classes that you may not be as strong in. Once you determine this, plan your visits to the ACES to assure you get all the feedback and support you need. We all have areas that we are not as strong in--whether we think we're terrible at math, or do not like writing at all. The ACES can help all students improve in their weaker areas. Give us a try!
  • Return for more later. Our goal is to give each student appropriate feedback, strategies and techniques for dealing with similar issues in the future. This takes time, and it takes effort on the part of students and tutors alike. If you come ready to work, we should be able to send you away with at least one strategy that works for you and will help you in the future.
Becoming a Tutor

As a potential tutor, you must be wondering exactly what would be expected of you. In the broadest sense, a tutor's job is to help fellow students understand material what you have already succeeded in learning--thus using your previous classroom and academic experiences as a foundation. This is actually a learning experience for both tutor and student, as both individuals discover different ways of problem solving through collaboration. It is an excellent way to share ideas, but it is imperative to keep in mind that it is a two-way street. You are venturing into a job that will benefit your classmates and that will benefit you.

Recognized by faculty and administration, peer tutors are important individuals who help develop positive learning skills in Nichols students while sharpening their own academic skills. Each year we hire tutors to make sure the ACES offers tutoring in the major subject areas, in both the Liberal Arts and Business degrees.

Tutors range from sophomores to seniors, and provide content-specific assistance in most courses offered at Nichols College. Strong knowledge of the course material is vital, as you will be helping others understand what may be confusing or difficult for them.

  • Strong knowledge of and confidence in your subject matter
  • Desire to help other students
  • A friendly and positive attitude
  • Ability to explain concepts to someone struggling with material
  • Punctuality, generosity, flexibility, personal organization
  • Must have a “B+” or better in the courses they wish to tutor
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3

Responsibilities Include (but are not limited to)

  • Being punctual and prepared to meet with students for 50-minute sessions
  • Conducting tutoring sessions in which the student is actively participating and engaged in the process
  • Sharing your own successful learning and academic skills
  • Creating a safe and friendly atmosphere
  • Developing a positive relationship with students who visit the ACES
  • Keeping updated and accurate records of each session
  • Assisting in administrative tasks related to the ACES
  • Conducting oneself with appropriate professionalism as a liaison of the ACES and Nichols College
  • Attending all new tutor training and ACES staff meetings
  • Familiarizing yourself with all ACES policies, philosophy and available resources
  • Upholding the Nichols College Academic Honesty policy
  • Checking your Nichols e-mail regularly and replying to office correspondence in a timely manner
  • Maintaining confidentiality regarding students' sessions at the ACES

Being a tutor provides some great opportunities!

  • Compensation: Being a tutor is a paid position (both work-study and non-work study available). Raises are attached to the advanced levels of training and certification.
  • Flexibility: Tutors' hours are quite flexible. As best we can we work around your schedules and activities. You are students first, so day and evening hours are available to work around your classes, sports, student leadership positions, etc. However, please note that once schedules are established, they are the same each week for the entire semester.
  • Certification: There are three levels of certification available from the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA). Completion of each level offers recognition by certificate at the spring Academic Honors Ceremony.
  • Professional Development: There are opportunities to attend and present at conferences in New England. You'll get to meet and share ideas with other peer tutors from centers at New England colleges and universities.
  • Community: The ARC tutors become a tight community of students, who not only work together but also have fun together! Every year the ARC tries to take social trips to team-build and get to know each other even better. App
Application Materials

All of the following materials must be submitted in order to be considered for a peer tutor position.

  • Application packet
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript (a printout from Self-Service is perfectly fine)
  • TWO completed Faculty Reference Forms, included in Application Packet. (Note: Please request that the faculty members return the form directly to Kristen Malinowski-Paine through campus mail or in person. Two reference forms are already included in your Application Packet.)
  • Writing Tutors: You must also submit a graded piece of writing that you feel best demonstrates your writing abilities. This can be the original or a photocopy.
  • Please return your complete Application Packet to Kristen Malinowski-Paine, Director of the ACES, either in person (Conant Library) or through campus mail. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kristen at 508-213-2232 or

Contact Us

Contact Information

Office Hours

Sun 4:00pm-9:00pm
Mon - Thu 9:00am-9:00pm
Fri 9:00am - 4:00pm

Summer Office Hours



Conant Library


Kristen Malinowski-Paine

Director of ACES