Students with a learning disability might be assigned a note-taker as a substitute for their own work. The note-taker is identified by the professor in the class and is employed by the Academic Resource Program.
Today, there are about 120 students taking advantage of the opportunity to have a note-taker. The program provides note-taking support services for students with hearing, visual, or motor limitations, or to those who have learning disabilities that significantly affect their abilities to take notes in class. By evaluating the students through a Diagnostic Evaluation Report, the university is able to decide whether or not they qualify for note-taking assistance.
The service is meant to act as a supplement to the qualifying students’ learning processes, as another person is assigned to write down the important points that are delivered during the class lectures.
Junior business management major Kathrine Andersen is a student note-taker, earning about $7.25 per hour for taking extensive notes. “You have to make sure you get everything the professor says,” she explains. If anything is unclear, she “googles” it, or she asks the professor to make sure her facts are correct. When class is over, the notes are submitted to the Learning Support Center, which distributes them further.
Andersen explains that it’s not too much extra effort to put in: “I take notes anyway,” she says. “The only difference is that, now, I take them on my computer instead of by hand.”
Anyone can become a student note-taker, as long as he or she makes sure to pick up on everything the professor says.
“Remember, someone is relying on your notes,” says Andersen. She appreciates that the university offers this kind of help; “Lecture notes can be reviewed by the student over and over at his or her own pace, so I think it is a good tool,” she says. For her own benefit, she finds that her job as a note-taker is paying off in a good way: “Besides helping a fellow student, it makes me attend every class, and I have to pay attention all through the class. Also, it pays for my coffee,” she says.