Academic Support Programs: Effective Support Through a Systemic Approach
The article examines academic support programs at American law schools and argues that academic support programs need to go beyond limited programs such as one-on-one counseling of students in academic difficulty. Academic support programs, it argues, must have a broader mission of engaging the faculty and administration of a law school in the "academic support mission." The adoption of academic support teaching and assessment methods throughout a law school is the true measure of an academic support program's success. The article asserts that a weak or marginalized academic support program can, in fact, have the detrimental effect of "enabling" a law school in continuing a dysfunctional teaching and curricular structure that creates barriers for many students and prevents their ultimate success.
The article adds its voice to a growing body of scholarship in the area of academic support and learning theory in law schools. In addition to a theoretical discussion of academic support, the article provides concrete suggestions for improving academic support programs and critically examines specific programs at Northern Kentucky University's Salmon P. Chase College of Law.