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Academy Resource Center

Welcome to the Academy Resource Center

Meet the ARC Directors

kate_griffeathKate Griffeath
Vice President, Educational Support

Welcome to the ARC Web site. Here you will be able to find many of the educational support services associated with the Academy Resource Center (free for all enrolled students), including assistance with:


  • Academic Coaching
  • ARC Tutoring
  • Classroom Services for students with disabilities
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) including EAP classes and support
  • Online Language Support
  • Study Groups and Workshop Schedules
  • Writing Lab, Speaking Lab and Multimedia Lab

Also included are many tips in such areas as improving your writing and success in online classes.

We hope you will find this site helpful as you progress through your education at the Academy of Art University.Please feel free to contact any department listed here with questions or concerns.

Lynda EspañaLynda España
Director, Student Academic Support

Academic Coaches are available to help you meet the challenges of succeeding as a student at the AAU. We will work with you individually in such areas as improving study skills, time management, assignment planning, and communicating with your instructor. An Academic Coach can also help you find community resources including places you can go for mental and physical health. Academic coaches are available on campus as well as online.

Student Academic Support contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3917
Email: arc@academyart.edu

sharlene_asuncion Aaron Field
Director, Online Student Academic Support

The Online Student Academic Support team provides online students with educational guidance to help reach their academic goals. Support is offered through individual consultations and workshops. We offer study skills advice on the following topics:

  • Tips for Succeeding in an Online Class
  • Time Management
  • Participating in Online Discussions
  • Quiz Taking Tips
  • Online Class Requirements and Expectations

Our Online Academic Coaches work with e-learners to enhance the skills needed to succeed in an online learning environment.

Online Student Academic Support contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3917
Email: oas@academyart.edu

jim_ohara James J. O’Hara
Director, ARC Training & Tutoring

We offer free, small-group tutoring to all students, both undergraduate and graduate, for all majors and courses, in the form of On-Campus and Online Labs. Although one-on-one tutoring is no longer offered, our new services provide individualized attention from experienced tutors to small groups of students. Students may attend BOTH On-Campus and Online ARC Labs without a referral, and there are no longer any grade requirements for receiving group tutoring.

ARC Training & Tutoring contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3865
Email: tutoring@academyart.edu

toby_silver Toby Silver
Director, Online Student Success, Engagement & Retention

The Online Student Success, Engagement & Retention Department believes every student can successfully complete their degree program and become a professional artist and/or designer. Toby works with our faculty, staff, administrators and students to find and recommend ways to improve the success and experience of our online programs and to help students get the most from their education while they are here.

Do you have suggestions or would like to share your ideas or experience? Please contact Toby.

Online Student Success, Engagement & Retention contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3786
Email: tsilver@academyart.edu

andrea_keklikian Andrea Keklikian
Director, Classroom Services

Classroom Services facilitates reasonable accommodations and equal access for students with disabilities to educational programs at the Academy of Art University.


Classroom Services contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3775
Email: classroomservices@academyart.edu

bob_mcdonaldBob McDonald
Director, English as a Second Language (ESL)

The ESL Department offers many services to support international students in achieving their goals of becoming professional artists. In addition to our ESL classes, we provide language support within art and design classes. Students can also utilize the Writing Lab and Speaking Lab to improve their English skills.

ESL contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3903
Email: arc@academyart.edu

chantelle_fergusonChantelle Ferguson
Director, Online Language Support

Online Language Support is available to help students improve their writing and understand assignment instructions, difficult concepts and vocabulary, and class policies in their online classes. Students in designated sections can receive assistance by participating in the Language and Writing Support discussion within the class or through e-mail. Students in non-designated classes can request support via the Online ESL Support link on their homepage.

Online Language Support contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3903
Email: ols@academyart.edu

marian_shaffner Vanessa Spang
Director, Faculty Development

The Faculty Development Team provides a wide range of support services for AAU instructors, both on campus and online. This includes a library of teaching resources, in-class faculty support, weekly teaching tips, teaching seminars, and online training tutorials. We are available to help new and continuing faculty to develop their teaching skills and meet the needs of our students.

Faculty Development contact info:
Phone: 415.618.3900
Email: facultydevelopment@academyart.edu