The School of Law is committed to academic support services and has hired a tenure-track faculty member to serve as Director of the Academic Success Program (ASP). The ASP has developed a comprehensive network of services that begins in the summer prior to the start of the first year of law school and continues through all three years of the course of study. The ASP program is based on a philosophy that emphasizes the teaching of metacognitive skills that are transferable from one context to another. This approach helps students understand how they learn and provides them with tools to improve their own learning in a variety of contexts.
The ASP's approach emphasizes the importance of "self-regulated learning" for all students in the law school community. Self-regulated learning is a structured approach to learning, based on expert learning theory, which emphasizes a cognitive awareness of the process of learning. It is increasingly being used in the law school context among legal educators. The primary goal of self-regulated learning is to teach students to assume responsibility for their own learning.
Using different instructional techniques, incremental learning steps and instructional feedback, the ASP employs a teaching method that Professor Michael Schwartz, author of Expert Learning for Law Students, describes as the self-regulated learning cycle: forethought, performance and reflection. Students are encouraged to plan their own studies using appropriate learning strategies, to monitor their implementation and engage in self-reflection and adaptation to new strategies. For example, the forethought phase teaches students to be proactive with their learning and to master learning skills through proper goal-setting, actual performance, time management, self-motivation and self-efficacy. This philosophy runs throughout the components of the ASP.