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Help Seeking

Willingness and tendency to reach out for help when working through a problem

If you went to the tutoring center on your average college campus, who do you think you’d find? More students currently getting a B, trying to get an A? Or more students currently getting a D trying to work up to a C?


You’d probably find more students with a B working towards that A.


This is because seeking help is one of the best strategies to foster learning. If you think about it, going to college in and of itself is a way of asking for help. You’re looking to learn from your instructors, looking for guidance from your advisors, and looking for collaboration from your fellow students.


Keep in mind that, whenever you run into a challenge, there is certainly value in working and persisting to address that problem on your own. BUT, when it gets to the point that you’ve exhausted your effort, done all that you can, ask someone for help. Your instructors, advisors, and other faculty and staff are here just for that purpose.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something and to learn something new.
Barack Obama

How can I improve my Help Seeking?

Strategies to Use

  • If you’re uncomfortable asking for help, take a quick walk the next time you’re on campus. Find an office or program that you don’t know, and ask someone at the front desk what they do there. You’ll find that people aren’t all that scary, and actually looking forward to lending a hand.

Resources at Montclair State

  • CAST offers tutoring services, supplemental instruction, workshops (including how-to guides to navigate online platforms and courses), access to online course support (navigate online platforms, tips for succeeding in an online course, internet and hotspot access), and links to external supplemental instructional materials.

  • Harry A. Sprague Library offers an Ask A Librarian service to help with finding sources and doing research (drop-in at the reference desk, chat live online, email, phone, text, Zoom/in-person appointments); study spaces; workshops (how to use the library, how to conduct research, how to use Google Scholar); and assistive technology. In addition, use the library website to find sources for your assignments and coursework (ebooks, print books, articles, streaming videos, and more).

  • Center for Writing Excellence (CWE) offers in-person and online appointments for every type of writing, workshops, and various online resources. The CWE fosters confidence, independence, and self-efficacy with short- and long-term goals.

  • Career Services assist students with all aspects of their professional development from resume writing to helping students explore career paths that align with their interests, values, and goals.  Career Services provide self-assessments, access to Handshake (job and internship search portal), workshops, and opportunities to network with hiring employers seeking to fill jobs and internships.

  • Academic Advising helps students create a personalized approach that will help them achieve their personal and academic goals.

  • CAPS provides free, voluntary services to all students including short term individual counseling, a variety of weekly therapy and support groups, consultations, psychiatry services and referral assistance to providers off-campus.

  • Health Promotion provides resources, programs, and services to advance student health and well-being. Topics include stress, sleep, alcohol and other drugs, safer sex, and body image.

  • IT Service Desk is the first point of contact for all IT service requests.

  • Red Hawk Food Pantry offers access to food and other essentials to members of the MSU community.

  • Rocky's Closet is a free resource that provides professional attire to students going on interviews or who are looking to build their professional closet as they enter the workforce.

  • Disability Resource Center assists in receiving the accommodations and services necessary to equalize access. The DRC provides assistance to students with physical, sensory, learning, psychological, neurological, and chronic medical disabilities.‌

  • Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has built an innovative, inclusive and supportive community to help ANY student who is looking to launch or grow their idea or business or who wants to cultivate a more entrepreneurial mindset.

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