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Academic Center (Center for Academic Excellence)
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Support Programs

The CAE offers seven primary services, some course specific and others more dedicated to the individual student. Check out the tabs below for a description of each; additional information is provided on our intranet page for Midshipmen and USNA Faculty/Staff.

Supplemental Instruction                        

Supplemental Instruction classes provide regular, structured learning support in core subjects. These non-credit classes meet one period per week and are part of a midshipman's academic schedule. Class sizes generally range from 8 to 12 students and are typically orchestrated in a hands-on learning style.

The sole purpose of the Supplemental Instruction classes is to improve learning within the technical discipline; as such, the course has no exams, quizzes, homework or grades. Classes provide a review of the major topics covered during the week in a practical, hands-on environment.

Professional Tutoring

Available to all students in either walk-in evening sessions or one-on-one daytime appointments.

  • Daytime sessions are available in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and engineering during the academic periods. Academic center staff who have taught the applicable course conduct these one-on-one appointments in the Levy Center.
  • All appointments are scheduled via Starfish★.
  • Evening tutoring is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineering, and cyber security.
  • Sessions are walk-in and provide support with homework problems, labs, or confusing subject matter from lecture.

The Writing & Communication Center

We provide writing and communication support for all midshipmen, independent of skill level, for every kind of writing or communication project and at any stage of the process. Our goal is to provide a professional, supportive, and collaborative environment where Midshipmen can receive guidance. 

One-to-one writing consultations are available both daytime (professional tutors) and evening (peer midshipmen). Midshipman can make an appointment in Starfish or walk-in whenever we are open. We also offer workshops on a variety of topics from thesis statements and argumentation to grammar and style.  Faculty consultations regarding pedagogical approaches and strategies for teaching the art of writing are also available.    

Through one-on-one consultations and workshops, our Communication Skills Specialist helps midshipmen hone their public speaking and presentation skills. Additionally, professional interview preparation and practice offers to help facilitate a successful outcome from important interviews. Communication appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesday.  

Additionally, the CAE offers ACE Reader, our premier speed-reading course. In-class instruction coupled with a license to the ACE Reader software simultaneously increases material comprehension and reading speed. With a time commitment of roughly two hours per week, students can double their words-per-minute reading speed in a semester.    

W&CC Director: Dr. Joan Shifflett; Writing Specialist: Dr. Emily Alianello; Communication Skills Specialist: Dr. Robin Taub

Topic/Exam Review Sessions

Throughout the semester, the Academic Center offers periodic reviews focusing on specifically difficult topics within core courses (e.g. stoichiometry in chemistry or electromagnetism in physics). These reviews are facilitated by CAE staff or our professional tutors and occur multiple times every week. Topics are covered concurrent with their respective course to assist in comprehension of key concepts.

We also provide additional sessions prior to major exams to support in test preparation. They offer a more comprehensive review of all major topics up to that date in the course, helping students to focus their exam studying on appropriate material. Exam reviews are available for all core courses.

Midshipmen Group Study Program (MGSP)

The Midshipmen Group Study Program (MGSP) provides regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-led group study sessions. Students can work together to compare notes, discuss important concepts, and progress through homework.

Each session is facilitated by a MGSP leader, a student who has previously taken the course with success. These leaders are expected to work closely with a Faculty Sponsor in order to keep session content current and appropriate in academic scope.

Sessions offered in over 50 courses!
•Engineering       •Cyber       •Economics       •Navigation       •Leadership       •Political Science 
Statistics       •Physics        •History       •Chemistry        •Foreign Languages       •Calculus               •Computer Science

Program Director: Lauren Segler

Strategies for Academic Success (SAS)

Speed Reading

                      Topics Include:
Time Management          Note Taking          

Task Prioritization           Test Preparation              
Memory Aids                     


Through metacognition classes, one-on-one sessions, and workshops, the Strategies for Academic Success program develops academic and professional skills. Attending a session provides a student the tools to succeed in the Naval Academy's rigorous academic programs - through taking more concise notes in class, arriving on exam day better prepared, etc.

Program Director: Lauren Segler 

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