ACE Center
ACE is helping students excel in their academic endeavors.

ACE Center

By Jacqueline Puglisi | March 24, 2011 | RSS

Bluefield College’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) provides multiple resources for students to improve and excel in their classes.


Crystal Kieloch, Director of Academic Support Services, has been with BC for 11 years and originally started in the admissions department. Back then, the writing center and tutoring were offered in separate campus locations. In 2008, Kieloch was asked to be director of ACE, and renovations to the basement of Rish Hall began to prepare for the center.


crystal kieloch
Crystal Kieloch, the Director of Academic Support Services.


The resources that ACE offers to students include computers, an online writing lab where students can submit essays for evaluation, disability services and tutoring. Kieloch started with one ACE tutor and now has 18 tutors in multiple subjects such as math, psychology and music theory. ACE has logged 730 tutoring sessions in the past academic year. Some tutors serve as academic coaches for students who need help getting organized and staying on track with their studies. Kieloch tutors in writing and offers DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) testing to students and adults.


When looking for tutors, Kieloch contacts faculty in search of exemplary students who may be interested. Tutoring is offered toward degree completion or for extra income. Students interesting in tutoring must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and a faculty recommendation. 


Courtney Dutton, a BC junior, started tutoring this semester in psychology and Old Testament. Prior to attending BC she also tutored at Virginia Highlands Community College and Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, Va. Dutton enjoys the extra income tutoring provides and the flexible schedule. She tutors students during times that are convenient for both her and the student. She also holds many sessions to help students prepare for exams.


Dutton prefers tutoring in ACE because of the environment and resources it provides. She feels more comfortable talking with students than she would in the library and utilizes the whiteboard when tutoring psychology.


Since she has been tutoring she has seen people grasp concepts easier because she is able to explain things in a way that is different from the professor. 


Lydia Freeman began tutoring her freshman year at BC to meet a degree requirement, but she has continued to tutor each semester since. Freeman is a writing tutor, but she also offers help in literature and communications, and she offers traditional tutoring as well as online help. It is difficult, she said, for some students to learn in a traditional classroom setting.


“I like being able to invest in other students because I know that people learn in different ways,” Freeman said.


Freeman said she likes helping students understand classroom material and often assists people outside ACE in her residence hall and on Facebook. Asking to be tutored, she said, can be embarrassing for some students, but she encourages them to seek the help they need.


“Nobody thinks any less of you for coming to tutoring,” she said. “They probably think more of you because you actually care about your schoolwork.”


Kieloch said it is not only the students who are struggling in classes who need help, but also the B student who wants to become an A student.


“The help is here; there’s no cost; why not ask for it?” Kieloch said. “There’s no shame in asking for help. We all need it sometime, and 4.0 students need it sometime, too."