In the fall of 1991, a modest tutoring program was launched by the College of Arts and Science Advising Center. Before that point, some tutoring had been provided by several academic departments and by Counseling Services, but there had never been a centralized academic support system to reach out to students – especially freshmen and new transfers.
A staff of approximately ten tutors, each working only five hours per week, met with students in Main Building (now the Silver Center) during that first year to assist them with mathematics and science, with some foreign language tutoring provided as well.
A large step forward was taken with the opening of the College Learning Center in Weinstein Hall during the fall of 1996. The College’s tutoring staff moved out of borrowed space and into a home of their own. A computer lab and a small library of textbooks were part of the Center from its earliest days, and these resources were made readily available to students, thanks to generous hours of operation.
Today, the Learning Center is still affiliated with the CAS Advising Center, and both are under the ultimate direction of the CAS Dean’s office. Growing in size and presence, the CLC is now in two locations and has over forty Learning Assistants working between eight and twelve hours per week to provide group review and individual tutoring in over one hundred CAS courses. In addition to being available for one-to-one help, they lead a variety of workshops on academic skills. This year, our Learning Assistants also lead weekly peer tutoring sessions for Chemistry courses.
The mission of the CLC has remained constant over the years. Our Learning Assistants assist students in developing the skills and strategies they need to become confident, independent, and active learners. The CLC aims to help students meet the challenge of the College’s rigorous academic standards, to guide students in their adjustment to the college learning environment, and to prepare them for a lifetime of self-sufficient learning. The tutoring staff provide instructional approaches that are tailored to the skill levels and learning styles of students, and they encourage students to take responsibility for learning and their academic success.
The CAS Learning Center is unique in that, unlike many tutoring centers at other schools, it is housed in two residence halls. It is thus well-placed to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the residence hall, and to contribute to a more holistic, well-rounded college environment for students.