KCBC Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently-asked questions offer information on making appointments and issues that faculty and students have raised with us.

If you have a question that is not listed in the following FAQs, please email cbc@american.edu or call (202) 885-1920 for more information.

Appointment FAQs

When scheduling a meeting with us, faculty and students often ask:

Make an appointment online using our scheduler, then come to KSB 101 to meet with one of our peer tutors. Bring your assignment instructions and any work you have so far - we'll talk through what's working, what you can improve, and answer any specific questions you might have. Appointments are 30 minutes long. If you have a longer paper of five or more pages, or have a number of questions about it, we encourage you to book two 30-minute slots with the same tutor for an hour-long appointment.

Make an hour-long appointment through our online scheduler by booking two consecutive 30-minute slots. Bring any PowerPoint slide and content that you have completed. Our peer tutors will offer you great feedback and speaking tips to help you bring your team together to deliver a polished, professional presentation.

For those who can't make it to campus during tutoring hours, we also offer electronic commenting. Select "e-tutoring" on our online scheduling system, and attach your assignment. A peer tutor will comment on your work and return your paper to you within (time frame). But remember that to get maximum impact, we always encourage you to make an in-person appointment for the most productive session possible.


Does speaking in front of people make you nervous? You're not the only one! Our Audience Dog Program was developed to offer a relaxing, judgment-free environment where students can gain quality speaking practice. Email us at cbc@american.edu to make an appointment, then come to KSB 101 to practice with one of our amazing audience dogs!


Student FAQs

Graduate and undergraduate students often ask:

Strong communication skills are essential for success in the business world. By coming to the KCBC, you'll be getting valuable feedback on your written work and presentations. Our goal is not only to help you improve the quality of individual assignments, but to make you a stronger writer and speaker overall throughout your time at Kogod.

We're in the Kogod School of Business, right off the lobby in room 101. When you enter through the main doors from the quad, we are the first office on your left. Come by for coffee or just to say hello!

Most appointments are 30 minutes long. For group presentations or longer papers, we recommend that you schedule an hour-long appointment by reserving two, back-to-back, 30-minute slots.

Not at all! We can help at any point in the writing process, from brainstorming to finding research to polishing your final draft.

Bring your assignment instructions and any work you have completed so far.

  • We offer in-person, e-tutoring, and online tutoring appointments. We strongly encourage you to come meet with one of our peer tutors in person. This is the best way for you to get the most out of your session. Plan to arrive a few minutes before your scheduled slot (KSB 101) to have plenty of time to discuss your assignment with one of our peer tutors.
  • For those who can't make it to campus during tutoring hours, we also offer electronic commenting on your written assignments. Select "e-tutoring" when scheduling your appointment through the online scheduler, and attach your assignment. A peer tutor will comment on your work and return your paper to you within 24 hours of your appointment. Remember that we strongly encourage you to make an in-person appointment whenever possible. But if you do choose the e-tutoring option, know that you can also make a follow-up appointment with the same tutor to discuss their comments in-person.
  • If you're an online or part-time student and are unable to meet during business hours, email cbc@american.edu for more information about real-time, "virtual," online tutoring options.

Click on the "Make an Appointment" button on our home page. Before you can see the schedule, you'll need to create an account. Don't lose your login information -- you'll use it every time you want to make an appointment with the KCBC. Click on any open appointment time on the schedule. A separate window will appear where you'll be asked to provide basic information about the assignment and your class.
If you would like to make an audience dog appointment or an online tutoring appointment, please email cbc@american.edu.

No two appointments at the KCBC are the same. Our peer tutors will work with you based on your assignment, where you are in the process, and what skills you want to improve. Typically, students schedule 30-minute appointments for most written assignments and two back-to-back appointments for team presentations and longer assignments so they'll have a full hour.

Our consultants are your amazing Kogod peers! They are friendly, skilled communicators who've taken the same classes you're looking for help with, and who excel at giving productive feedback.

Our Audience Dog Program is a unique resource to help you improve your public speaking and presentation skills. By addressing a non-judgmental audience dog, students find that they feel relaxed and gain confidence in their speaking skills. Our audience dogs are always accompanied by a peer tutor. They are happy to provide feedback too, but you can also just take the opportunity to get some pressure-free practice from our smart and lovable canines!

 When you first arrive at the KCBC, you'll spend a few minutes getting acquainted with your audience dog. Give them a few treats, and offer a belly rub. They'll sit on the bench or chair and be ready to listen. Just practice your presentation for your judgment-free dog, looking up from your notes or away from your slides to establish eye contact periodically. You can also ask for feedback from one of our human tutors who will accompany the dog, or simply enjoy the process of hearing yourself speak your ideas aloud. We guarantee you'll leave feeling more relaxed and confident.

Faculty FAQs

AU Faculty Members often ask:

  • Communications skills are among the top skills annually that employers say they want in new hires. Content knowledge and a diploma are not enough. By embedding strong communications skills into your courses, students can't create a false divide between knowing their accounting principles and conveying those principles effectively on the job.
  • Here are two of many testimonials from faculty that prove our value: International Business professor Bob Sicina, following an e-commenting project we did for his IBUS 300 class wrote: "The quality of the writing was substantially improved. I didn't have to sort my way through a raft of punctuation, grammar, and structure issues." Or this, from Marketing professor Cristel Russell, "My students in the semester-long, client-based project in MKTG 412 greatly benefited from the feedback you gave them on their final IMC presentations. The clients were hugely impressed by the professionalism of their presentations and final reports."

Please reach out to us for a personalized consultation! We’re teachers too, and know that time is at a premium when it comes to delivering and evaluating all of your course content. We’ll work with assignments you already have, suggesting added steps we can support such as peer review, non-graded KCBC feedback on drafts, and using rubrics to set clear writing expectations.

On the speaking side, we’ll come to your class with our peer tutors to coach your students in teams, making rehearsing both dynamic and generative. We can also work with you to require that your students make appointments outside of class for both speaking and writing.

Absolutely. It's so important to understand that simply assigning extra writing or speaking in a "W" (writing-focused) or "O" (oral presentations) class is not enough to truly build student skills in these areas. We can work with you to instruct, coach, and improve vital communications skills by embedding and practicing them in your course. Some examples might include adding short, low-stakes "news talks" or "one-minute briefs," asking that work take different forms for different audiences such as an internal memo or external client proposal rather than just "a paper," and asking student for an annotated bibliography so you can ensure the sources they're using to ground their recommendations are credible and sound.

We piloted our electronic-commenting approach with faculty last year, and the responses from faculty and students alike were overwhelmingly positive. In short, you’ll arrange for your students to submit their first drafts of an assignment electronically through Blackboard so that our peer tutors can comment with an eye to improving the final draft. We walk both you and your students through this very straightforward process on Blackboard, and establish your priorities for the assignment as our road map for helpful comments. Faculty time is freed up from first draft commenting, and the papers faculty receive in the end are better in every way, making grading easier. Students benefit from getting one-on-one attention on their writing that is completely aligned with their professor’s priorities.

We can, and we do. We'll meet with you ahead of time to understand what assignment you'd like us to support, or what context you'd like us to use. Maybe you assign short memos throughout the semester - how can we teach your students to prioritize, cite, and persuade in the memo format? Perhaps you require a team presentation and a team paper - we'll have tips on teamwork and accountability as well as ways to rehearse with visual data slides. Faculty invite us to speak more generally at the start of a semester about what business audiences expect: concise, clear, correct, and creative ideas. They'll have us discuss ways to more effectively present data with up-to-date data visualization concepts and tools. Importantly, we free up faculty time away from teaching writing to focus on underscoring its importance for their students to build a successful business career.