Academic Resources

Purdue Campus Resources

ME Tutorials and Tutoring

Students have access to a variety of tutorials and tutors, whether individual or in a group setting.

Pi Tau Sigma - Honor Society

Pi Tau Sigma offers one-on-one tutoring with a current ME student who has demonstrated mastery in the course(s) they tutor. There is an hourly fee to utilize Pi Tau Sigma tutors. Each semester a new list of tutors and contact information is posted on the Pi Tau Sigma website.

Tutorial Rooms

Tutorial rooms (ME 2134, ME 2138, and ME 2142) are staffed by faculty and graduate students. No appointments are needed and no cost is associated. Schedules for tutorial rooms are updated on a semester basis.

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center (ASC) is a hub of Student Success in Purdue’s academic enhancement initiatives. Through partnership with the Purdue community, the mission is to provide students at various stages of their academic journey with both credit and noncredit opportunities to enhance learning, increase retention, and improve overall student success. The ASC can help you become the best student you can be through resources such as one-on-one tutoring, group study sessions, workshops, and classes.

Advocacy and Support Center

Part of the Office of the Dean of Students, the Advocacy and Support Center offers a variety of services and support to Purdue students and their families including: case management, class absences, direction to appropriate campus and community resources, emergency loans, grief absence notification, and assistance in withdrawing from the University.

Bursar's Office

The Bursar's Office can answer questions about a variety of issues related to money and payment including: current semester billing, account holds related to payment, making a payment, return of loan money, installment payment plans, 1098T's, and refunds.

Counseling and Psychological Services

CAPS strives to enhance the psychological health and personal effectiveness of students, thus empowering you to maximize your personal adjustment and individual accomplishments. In providing services, the staff attends to remedial, developmental, and situational concerns, recognizing that the interaction between the stress of the academic environment and your individual level of development can lead to problems that can be alleviated through therapy. CAPS works together with the university community to create an environment that assists you in understanding and responding to challenges and opportunities in a way that enhances your personal and academic development.

Division of Financial Aid

The Division of Financial Aid (DFA) can assist students with issues related to their financial aid package, grants or scholarships, student loans, and loan entrance counseling.

International Students and Scholars

The Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS)  is the primary resource for international students with questions regarding: immigration counseling, maintaining legal/lawful status while at Purdue, OPT/CPT, and I20 extensions. ISS also seeks to enhance the academic, cultural, and social experiences of international students at Purdue through their ambassador program, Boiler Out!, and other cross-cultural programming.

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) serves as a consultant and resource for students, faculty, staff, and parents concerning student conduct expectations and rights, University policies and procedures related to student life, and equitable treatment of students. The OSRR is responsible for adjudicating cases of alleged violations of the code of student conduct and is available as a resource for conflict/dispute management.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar can assist with questions related to a variety of issues including: transcripts, commencement, enrollment certification, residency, and registration.

Online Writing Lab

The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers over 200 free resources on topics including: writing, research, grammar and mechanics, style guides, English as a second language, and job search and professional writing.

Pyramid of Success
Prof. Jim Jones

ME Students:

I am writing you because as a new student in Mechanical Engineering (ME), I want to give you the best possible opportunity to succeed in ME.  My purpose in writing you is to give you some tips that you might find valuable in trying to maximize your grades.  Provided in this document is a color graphic I have developed to help students recognize a stratum of suggestions that build on one another and work synergistically to help students maximize their grades and achieve their full potential.  I have taken the liberty to summarize these eight principles below.

 1)      Attend Every Class – Attending Class Every Day is the foundation of the Pyramid.  Not surprisingly, many students who find themselves struggling with grades aren’t following this simple principle.  To get more from this foundation, sit up front where your attention in class will likely improve.  Also, introduce yourself to your professor and get to know them.  They are the key to your success and often a valuable resource later when you need a strong recommendation letter.  Some students may feel their professor is ineffective in the classroom for them.  It is still important to attend class every day.  However, if this does occur and you are unable to switch sections, try attending another section that has a professor whose style more closely aligned with what you need to learn.

 2)      Do All Homework – The second layer of the foundation is Do All Homework to the best of your ability.  Again, it is common for students who are struggling academically to blow off their homework because it doesn’t represent a high percentage of points.  However, the homework is critical because it represents your PRACTICE for understanding the concepts you are trying to learn.  Without regular practice it is very difficult to perform effectively on exams, where the majority of points reside.  Also, many struggling students don’t regularly use the resources for assistance that are readily available (e.g., the Tutorial Rooms, the TA Office Hours, the Faculty Office Hours, etc.).  You may have been a student that didn’t need to ask for assistance in high school.  However, you need to realize that all ME students need help periodically so don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself and ask.  My top students get there by asking question when they don’t understand.  You should do likewise.  Finally, it is great to work with other like-minded students, but don’t become too dependent on them.  You need to find a health balance between working individually and working with others.

 3)      Prepare for Exams – In preparing for exams, many of the faculty provide help sessions and copies of old exams to use for practice.  I strongly encourage students to take advantage of all of these resources.  Practicing with old exams is a great way to test the waters and see how well you understand the concepts.  The other difference between exams and homework is that you will be tested over many concepts that will be ordered randomly on the exam.  Hence, understanding how to classify the various types of problems is not a skill you tend to practice a lot when working on homework.  Even if you have no clear questions, it is still valuable to attend the help sessions.  Listening to other student questions and the professor’s response may provide you with some new insights.  Also, if you have documentation to receive accommodations, by all means take advantage of these accommodations, whether or not you believe you will need them.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.  Occasionally, faculty may write and excessively long exams, such that extra time may prove invaluable.

4)   Debrief on Exam Results – Human nature causes us to want to ignore bad news in hopes that it will just disappear if I don’t think about it.  Obviously this never works.  I recommend the opposite approach of taking your exam and securing a copy of the solution and reviewing step-by-step what you did right and what you did wrong (perhaps even with your professor). Who knows, you might detect a grading error that will help improve your grade (most faculty offer re-grades if you identify any errors in grading).   Only then can you learn from your mistakes and hopefully avoid these mistakes in the future.  In this process it is imperative that you are honest with yourself.  Did you may a silly mistake?  Did you just not fully understand a concept?  Did you misunderstand the problem?  Were you just not prepared?  What are the honest reasons for not performing at a higher level?

 5)  Prepping for Finals - This is pretty much a ditto for the exam preparation discussion above.  However, the challenge here is that most final exams are comprehensive and thus cover considerably more material than the regular hour exams.  Again debriefing for the final exam is also a good idea.  This will enable you to confirm your grade is accurate and occasionally you might find an error in grading that improves your grade.  It never hurts to check.

 6)  Treat Your Classes Like Job – Finally at the apex of the Pyramid is “Treat Your Classes Like a Job”.  What I mean by this is commit yourself to coming in to campus early every day and stay on-campus all day.   When you are not in class, go to the Tutorial Room or the Library and work on your upcoming homework.  I promise you that if you use the day effectively, you can get the majority (if not all) of your work done and will have the evenings for social activities, student organizations, just relaxing, attending sporting events, working out, etc.  I would even bring your lunch with your and utilize the kitchen in the building if needed (just like you would do with a summer job).  The point is if you follow this basic principle, you will be amazed how much more effective you will be with your time.  Many younger students especially tend to come to campus late, go back to their dorms or apartments between classes and flitter the day away with little to show at the end.  Then they want to hang out with friends for a while which forces them to either stay up late getting homework done (and risk missing class in the morning) or blow off the homework and get behind.  In either case, this mode of operation is not sustainable for 16 weeks.  Try this simple idea and see if it doesn’t help you to improve your grades (and in many cases dramatically).

7)   Interruptions/Accommodations – If anything impedes or interrupts your ability to succeed, you need to come in and see your academic advisor (or myself) immediately.  Don’t sit on the problem and hope it will go away.  We can think together on what accommodations might be possible to help you with whatever struggle you may be facing.  The point is, don’t sit on your problems and do nothing.  Take action early and we can find reasonable solutions to most challenges.

8)   Seek a Student (or Professional) Success Coach if Struggling – Finally, if you find yourself struggling academically, consider seeking a Student Success Coach.  This is a relatively new service that the University if offering at no cost to you and can be requested at the Student Success Center on the 4th floor of the Krach Leadership Building.  You will be paired with a trained success coach who can meet with you periodically (e.g., weekly or biweekly) to:  1) help you develop good study habits and organizational skills, 2) to establish your goals and plans of action, 3) have a vehicle for regular accountability, and 4) provide a multitude of resources that can help you succeed professionally, academically, and socially.  If you are struggling academically, I strongly recommend you seek a student success coach to assist you in establishing good habits and monitoring your progress.  Personally, I would recommend you meet with your coach weekly and have your coach prepare a monthly summary that you can share with your advisor to keep them abreast of your progress.

Finally, I encourage you to take a look at the common mistakes of younger students and the three common types of students listed  (shown on each side of the Pyramid of Success).  You might find some insight that may prove critical to your success.  Remember that neither I nor your parents can do it for you.  It has to come from you.  The first question you need to ask yourself is “Is this what I want to do with my career and my life?”  If not, we need to talk so I can help you discover your true passion.  If ME is your passion, you need to commit the time and effort needed to succeed or you may lose this opportunity forever.  In my experience, the more a student has a vision of what they are working towards, the greater ability they have to persistent even when they face struggles.  I have to tell you that I am not a dictator so I am not going to follow you around to make sure you are following these ideas.  Nor can I guarantee if you follow these principles, you will succeed.  However, I believe that if you will honestly implement these simple ideas, your chances of success in ME and in life will improve dramatically.  Test me on this and see if I am right. I personally challenge you to print out a copy of the Pyramid of Success and post up on your mirror as a daily reminder of your new philosophy.  As always, I am available (as well as all of our academic advisors) if you have questions about these suggestions or any other topics you may want to discuss.
Best wishes for a successful and productive semester!

Prof. Jones
James D. Jones
Associate Professor and Associate Head
585 Purdue Mall
School of Mechanical Engineering
West Lafayette, IN   47907-2088
Ph:  (765)494-5691
Fax:  (765)494-0539