CAPS Frequently Asked Questions

If you are an undergraduate student enrolled at UNM you can use CAPS! Whether you are taking courses in person on the main campus or online, you can use our various services to help you be successful in your academics. Unfortunately, only enrolled students can use our services.  As an alternative, CAPS highly recommends the use of its online services, through which tutoring is available from any computer with an Internet connection. One good place for parents with children seeking to access these services from on campus is the family-friendly computer pod at the UNM Women’s Resource Center.

CAPS is free and requires no registration! If you are an undergraduate student at UNM you can inquire with a  Student Resource Representatives at all CAPS locations about what services and locations would be best for your needs. All students must either have their Lobo ID card or know their Banner ID number when using CAPS services. You can also check our hours and subjects here.

Cancellations may be made up until the time of the appointment.  If you do not cancel the scheduled appointment and are unable to attend it is considered a “no show”.  After 3 'No-Shows' scheduled appointments may be restricted.

There are many ways in which students can receive online learning assistance from CAPS! In addition to all of our in-person services, we offer a variety of online services to meet the needs of online, distance, non-traditional, and general undergraduate students. Below is a brief listing and summary of each of our online tutoring programs.

  • The Online Learning Center (OLC) allows students to receive support in a wide range of tutor in a synchronous (live), chat-like format. Each OLC room features powerful shared whiteboards and the ability to communicate with a peer tutor via text, audio, or video-based chat. The hours for OLC are typically held in the evenings (5:00-10:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday), allowing non-traditional students the ability to connect with a tutor at times that are convenient for them.
  • Embedded Online Tutoring (EOT) is an optional service that faculty members can request to be added as a component of their online courses. Requests for an Embedded Online Tutor should be submitted to the CAPS or New Media and Extended Learning (NMEL) staff one semester prior to the start of the class. Once an EOT has been assigned to a course, he or she hosts weekly review sessions, develops message board engagement, and serves as a resource to the students in that course.
  • The Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides students with assistance in any writing assignment. Our tutors can help your students with structure, style, format, grammar, and thesis organization. Please note that we do not simply proofread papers. In fact, we do not do any proofreading at all! Rather, we coach students on the foundations of excellent writing.

Please contact Dayra Fallad-Mendoza, Program Specialist for Online Tutoring, questions regarding the CAPS Online Tutoring Program. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the quality of and access to our online tutoring services. Faculty input is welcomed and encouraged.

Requests for an Embedded Online Tutor should be submitted to Dayra Fallad-Mendoza, Program Specialist for Online Tutoring, or New Media and Extended Learning (NMEL) staff one semester prior to the start of the class. Once an EOT has been assigned to a course, he or she hosts weekly review sessions, develops message board engagement, and serves as a resource to the students in that course.

CAPS provides Embedded Online Tutors (EOT) in nearly 40 individual courses each semester! Visit our EOT page to see if your course has an EOT in it. If it does, contact information for your Embedded Online Tutor can be found by clicking on CAPS Tutor Online in the Course Tools menu section of Blackboard Learn. For additional information, ask your instructor, refer to your course syllabus or contact CAPS at (505) 277-7205.

Embedded Online Tutors assist students in online classes in the same way that our face-to-face tutors help students taking face-to-face classes! We provide students with assistance in:

  • Understanding the course material
  • Answering questions
  • Highlighting resources
  • Conducting test reviews
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Facilitating discussion board conversations
  • In addition to the support that your specific EOT provides, CAPS also offers students access to our other online services including the Online Learning Center (OLC), Online Writing Lab (OWL), and CAPS Digital Archives!

Contact information for your Embedded Online Tutor can be found by clicking on CAPS Tutor link in the Course Tools menu section of UNM Learn. See the image below for an example of what the link looks like in the Learn system. For additional information, ask your instructor, refer to your course syllabus or contact CAPS at (505) 277-7205.

You must be a UNM student enrolled in an undergraduate course. You may submit academic papers that are required for a UNM course or degree requirement. In addition, you may submit pieces of application writing, such as résumés or cover letters. In addition, it would be helpful to attach the assignment prompt along with the writing itself. Papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc), Text (.txt), or Rich-Text (.rtf) format.

We tailor our feedback to address the concerns that you identify as being your highest priority when you submit your paper. In general, the feedback on OWL submissions provided by the tutor will concentrate on the deeper-level issues of your writing, such as the content, organization, and focus of your topic rather than on such features as grammar, punctuation and spelling. While we won't correct or "fix" your paper for you, we will provide strategies and approaches for how to improve your paper. If you have specific concerns with the writing, please indicate them in the field provided on the form below. 

Under normal circumstances, your undergraduate paper will be reviewed and returned to you within 48 business hours, Monday through Friday. That is, if you submit a paper on Friday afternoon, you can expect a response by the end of the day on Tuesday. Please check the CAPS Calendar for holidays or special occasions that may delay the return of your work. We accept submissions in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Greek, Navajo, Portuguese, and Russian. CAPS will accept submissions for the Spring 2019 semester between Tuesday, January 22nd and Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at noon.

We do not limit the number of papers that a student can submit to the OWL. We welcome students to use the OWL as a often as possible, including submitting multiple revisions of the same paper. You are also encouraged to ask questions about your feedback and start a dialog with the tutor who reviewed your paper.

The mission of the CAPS STEM program is to provide an interactive, collaborative peer tutoring environment that encourages students to ask questions, take ownership of their education, and experience individual success in the math and science core curriculum.

CAPS STEM tutors can help you improve your performance in UNM math and science courses. CAPS drop-in tutoring labs are places for you to do your homework or study for a test in a supportive environment. Our math, physics, statistics, chemistry, and biology tutors can help you with strategies and concepts that you can apply when doing your homework and taking tests. In a drop in lab setting, you can work by yourself or with a group.  Have a question? Raise your hand so that a tutor can help you.  Once the tutor has given you a few strategies, you can work toward a solution without the tutor so that you can strengthen your critical thinking and problem solving skills

Drop-In Tutoring: Study and work on homework in a supportive and collaborative group environment where peer tutors circulate and offer mini lessons when you are in need.

Individual Appointments: Work one-on-one with a peer tutor who tailors the interactions to your needs.

Faculty Office Hours: Study with your professor/ instructor at CAPS with your peers

Math Refresher: Use this collection of articles meant to help you quickly refresh yourself with a number of important topics frequented in math courses.

Social Media: Get help 24/7 via CAPS Tumblr Blog and Pinterest Boards

CAPS support tries to meet you where you’re at. Do you like to study at night? We have evening services at the SUB and SSSC. Do you study best in the morning? We have morning hours at the Zimmerman library.  Check out our hours and locations here. We are sure there is something here for you.

Learning strategies helps you get the most from your classes. They are proven methods to help you become a more efficient learner. The CAPS Learning Strategies Program covers the learning cycle, time management, note-taking, active learning, college reading, critical thinking, test-taking, and more. The best part is, you can use the skills you learn with a learning strategist to help you in any class you take!

Workshops are the way that we most often introduce students to learning strategies.  Workshops are structured in a way that presents material in a general way and provides opportunities for students to understand why transferable skills are such a key component of success at the college level.  They are PowerPoint based presentations that also call for interaction between the presenter and attendees as well as collaboration between attendees.  After attending a workshop students are encouraged to make an individual appointment or visit the drop-in lab to apply the information learned to their personal contexts.

You will work together with your CAPS tutor to find and practice learning strategies. Your tutor will help you find a focus: Do you want to have better study sessions? Take better notes? Your tutor can offer strategies for all of these and more—they are trained in time management, note-taking, test-taking and preparation, college reading tactics and other effective learning strategies. During the 25 or 50 minute appointment, you and your tutor will determine how to make these skills work for you.

Drop-in lab learning strategies support offers you the opportunity to practice and modify strategies in a supportive environment outside of the parameters of the workshop and individual appointment formats.  No appointment is necessary.  Join us in a drop-in lab and sit at a table with other students who are invested in becoming more efficient learners.  Working together with a Learning Strategist and other students will allow you to dialogue and gain insights at times and lengths of time that best serve your needs.


  • Learning Strategies: The Cycle of Learning
  • Time Management
  • Note-taking & Active Learning
  • College Reading & Critical Thinking
  • Test-taking

Look on our learning strategies workshops page for an expanded description of each.

Yes! If you have a particular topic in mind for your class or student organization please fill out the Request a Workshop Form. CAPS will contact you for further information.

Yes! If you need a specific time or date for a workshop, please fill out the Request a Workshop Form. CAPS will contact you for further information.

Students, faculty, and staff often have questions about the SI program at UNM. Review our most frequently asked questions or email us your questions.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is essentially "Students helping students." SI is an academic support program designed to aid students in traditionally difficult courses. SI provides regularly scheduled, peer-led study sessions, and incorporates study strategies into each and every session - and who better to help you with study strategies than an SI leader who has already excelled in the course!

The SI leader plans and conducts three 50-minute study sessions per week. These sessions are available to all students enrolled in the class at no cost. SI sessions are not a time for the SI leader to re-lecture the same material presented in class. Rather, they are a time when you can work in small, collaborative groups with your classmates to review lecture material, course reading, and homework.

SI is open to all students enrolled in the selected section of a particular class. SI attracts and is helpful for students from all ability levels. Our stats have shown that SI participants earn half a letter grade to a full letter grade higher than non-SI participants regardless of prior achievement levels. SI really works!

SI sessions have an informal atmosphere where you and your classmates can aid each other in learning while guided by an SI leader. Typically SI leaders prepare worksheets, handouts, problem-solving exercises, and plan group activities in order to reinforce information introduced in class. SI sessions are a great place to go over important concepts, review class notes, discuss reading assignments, work practice problems, and reinforce relevant study skills.

SI leaders are selected based on their academic strengths and interpersonal skills. They are students who have previously  taken the course and earned a B+ or better.  SI leaders attend the class with you, take notes, and review readings and homework. The leaders also meet regularly with the professor to discuss concepts that should be reviewed in the weekly sessions.  SI leaders are trained in collaborative learning techniques, study strategies, and course content as part of obtaining certification through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

SI sessions begin the second week of classes and end the week before finals. SI session days and times are determined before classes even begin, so you can plan them into your schedule early in the semester. SI Leaders will announce session days and times during the first week of class and will give reminders and updates throughout the semester.  Each course has three sessions per week and test reviews are set according to your test schedule.

Visit our hours & locations page for the most up to date meeting times for your class!

Attendance is taken solely for statistical purposes. We like to see if students are utilizing SI and if SI is effective in helping students succeed in the course. It also allows CAPS to request funding so SI can expand. 

YES! Attending SI sessions is  voluntary, but studies show that the more you are exposed to new material the easier it becomes to recall later. Attending multiple SI sessions allows you to review course content, learn different studying techniques, and network with your classmates so you can make new friends.

SI leaders typically hold review sessions up to one week before exams. They will announce dates and times in class, during SI sessions and will post it to the Facebook group associated with your course.  Make sure you know when test reviews are scheduled -- they are a great time to complete practice tests, asks questions, and clarify your understanding of important concepts!

We are always looking for great SI leaders! We begin the hiring process early so it is a good idea to apply the semester before you wish to work. Learn more about Employment at CAPS!