Academic Support Programs: Effective Support Through a Systemic Approach

Adam G. Todd, Academic Support Programs: Effective Support Through a Systemic Approach, 38 Gonz. L. Rev. 187 (2003).

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Academic support programs in American law schools (“ASPs”) are often implemented with the express purpose of promoting social, racial, and economic diversity in the legal profession, which has historically excluded these populations. This progressive purpose, however, may not ultimately be achieved unless academic support is fully integrated into the law school academy. This Article argues that an ASP needs to go beyond one-on-one counseling of students in academic difficulty. Further, ASPs need to engage the faculty and administration of a law school in the academic support mission.

This Article also suggests concrete steps that ASP professionals can follow to improve the delivery of ASPs on a more system-wide basis. Finally, this Article examines specific programs at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where for the past five years, ASPs and other services have been expanded, in part, for the purpose of increasing bar examination pass rates. As a result of measures taken by Chase College of Law, bar passage has improved dramatically. These changes have both positively and negatively impacted the academic support mission. The School is a useful case study for examining the delivery of academic support in law schools…Read More

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