Q & A with Absolom Abraha

What drew you to enroll in Academic Foundations? 

When I made my first semester schedule, I hadn’t enrolled in Academic Foundations and really didn’t even know it existed. When I went in for my first advising appointment, my advisor and I went over my schedule and he recommended the course to me. I wasn’t exactly sure what Academic Foundations was, but the class only met once a week and was also worth a credit, so I thought, “Why not?”. I later learned that the course would be extremely valuable and help ease my transition into college!

Describe what you did in your Academic Foundations course. What was the experience like?

We did so much in my Academic Foundations course that it would be hard to narrow it down into just a few sentences. We learned various things such as how to communicate with your professors, where to seek help on campus, how to use my.pitt.edu, how to navigate the library’s database, and so on. The course was very interactive and everyone participated which made it really enjoyable. We also went out for lunch at Fuel and Fuddle, and had a really fun group project exploring a certain part of Pittsburgh!

What did you find to be the most valuable part of the Academic Foundations course?

The most valuable part of the Academic Foundations course was definitely learning about all of the on-campus resources. When I first came to Pitt, I honestly had no idea there were so many great tutoring and help centers available to students at practically any time. I use many of the resources—from drop-in tutoring at Hillman to one-on-one peer tutoring—very frequently, which all definitely play a huge role in helping me succeed!

Do you feel that taking the Academic Foundations course helped you find a community of students on campus as a first year student?

Taking the Academic Foundations course for sure helps you find a community of students on campus. Starting college can be pretty weird and scary, and a course like Academic Foundations can really help make it a little easier. The course is very social and active and we often work in small groups which can help you meet new people and potentially make new friends!

Did Academic Foundations help you transition to college? If so, how?

Without a doubt. When I first came to college, I had little to no idea what I was doing. I had to figure out what study methods worked best for me and how to make better use of my time. The things I learned in Academic Foundations not only helped me be able to seek tutoring and other academic resources, but also helped me figure out how to better manage my time in order to promote efficient studying.

Why did you decide to become a Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) after completing the course?

I decided to become an Academic Foundations UTA because after taking the course, I had learned so much great and useful information that I wanted to help pass it on. I honestly don’t know what I would do without the things I learned in Academic Foundations. They have helped me do better in terms of my academics, and I want to be able to help other students succeed too.

What would you say to an incoming student considering taking Academic Foundations?

Definitely take the course! Especially if you want to set yourself up for success early, I would recommend this course. You learn a ton of useful information in this course that will help you succeed in college, and it’s better you know about them as soon as you can! The course isn’t for any specific type of student, anyone can take it, and they’ll definitely be glad that they did. Also, the course only meets once a week, so it won’t be too heavy on your schedule, and you even get a credit for taking it!