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Learning Center Makes Some Changes

Berea College’s Learning Center has made some important changes this year.

Senior Peer Consultant Toby Wilcher works with Dianne Sykes’s Stories class.

These include new hours, changes in workshop delivery, and new faculty, professional, and student staff members.

Beginning this fall, the Learning Center is offering workshops on demand. Faculty can schedule workshops to be held in their classroom or at the center on a variety of topics, including communication, documentation, research methods, and resumes and interviews.

“Our data indicated that the evening workshop series wasn’t the best way to reach the student body,” said Jarrod Brown, who joined the center’s full-time professional staff this fall as Program Assistant. “We’re trying to enable students to learn and provide them with the support they need to be active learners.”

There are also five faculty associates available to serve as resources to faculty members, departments, and teaching associates, as well as tutors, staff, and students who want to expand their teaching and learning options. They are Beth Crachiolo, Assistant Professor of English; Laura Crawford, Associate Professor of General Studies; Megan Hoffman, Associate Professor of Biology; Libby Jones, Professor of English; and Janey Wilson, Coordinator of Reference and Instructional Services.

Peer consultants continue to be available to work one-on-one with student clients on communication and time management skills. Consultants are certified to make suggestions on how to develop and/or improve a paper or presentation.

Appointments with consultants are encouraged, but drop-ins are welcome and will be seen as consultants become available.

Another important change at the Learning Center is the newly established Steering Committee.

“To help prioritize the goals of the center and incorporate more voices into the strategic planning process, the Steering Committee was formed in Spring 2004 and began its work at a retreat over the summer,” said Deanna Sergel, Coordinator of the Learning Center.

The Steering Committee, consisting of administrators and representatives of the four academic divisions, is co-chaired by Don Hudson, Associate Provost for Advising and Academic Success, and Deanna Sergel; with members Tom Boyd, Chair of Sociology; Jackie Burnside, Associate Dean of Faculty; Anne Chase, Director of Library Services; Verlaine McDonald, Chair of English, Theatre, and Speech Communication; Sandy Pennington, Associate Professor of Nursing; and Lee Roecker, Chair of Chemistry.

Under the Steering Committee’s guidance and direction, the increased visibility of the Learning Center will promote greater access to resources for the broader campus community, resulting in closer alignment with the center’s mission: to enhance learning through services to students, faculty, and staff in all combinations.

Learning Center hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, but closes from 3-5 p.m. Thursday for convocations and labor meetings. Evening hours are 6-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday.

The Learning Center invites students and faculty to take advantage of its wide variety of resources, including tipsheets, writing guides, and manuals. Other teaching, learning, communication, and research materials are available on the center’s Web site listed below. For more information, visit the Learning Center in 106 Draper, or call 985-3404.

*This article was written and submitted by Brandon Dye and Rita Fox. The photo was taken by Maggie Scarbrough.

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