Sociology instructor Charity Clay is a regular at the Learning Center. She finds that students would rather come up to her there than make an office appointment. “Students feel more comfortable meeting me in the Learning Center, and there’s also a good chance I’ll run into other students who need help but are afraid to ask,” she says. “I’ve even had new students enroll in my classes based on their interaction with me in the Learning Center.”
For these and many other reasons, Isela González Santana, Interim Learning Center Director, is strongly encouraging instructors to spend some time in the recently renovated colorful space with a fully equipped science lab, study and media rooms, computer labs, and print services.
“The office hours we’re now offering in the Learning Center are one thing, but for instructors to come out to the tutoring center and engage with the students or volunteer for an hour is a big step, and we’d like to see more of that,” she says. “We’re also asking instructors to help bring students in by making tutoring a requirement, providing information on their syllabus, offering extra credit, or scheduling a field trip for an orientation.”
Instructional Aide Lowell Bennett sees first-hand how instructors’ participation can help. “Sometimes students don’t have the confidence to come to the Learning Center, and there’s an intimidation factor they need to overcome,” he says. “But when going to the Learning Center is required or they can get extra credit, they come in and realize all the resources we have. If we can maximize that to the highest level, it would be a great thing.” (Pictured: Instructional Aide Lowell Bennett (right) and student Clarence Rowan)