Learning Center Expands to House More Students Services in a Centralized LocationAugust 29, 2013

The theme for the 2013-2014 academic year is magis and the newly updated Gervais Learning Center is helping students strive for that by providing more resources to be better students.

Over the summer, the learning center went through a slight transformation, putting the Freshman Incentive Program and The Center of Service Learning all under one roof.

“It’s starting to become a Rockstop for academic support,” said Ann Volin, Ph.D., director of the learning center. “Students are going to take advantage of all these services so you might as well have it all together. And as the year goes on, the staff will realize how we will be able to help each other in ways we didn’t anticipate.”

The move to include these varied services in one area came about after some organizational changes in Van Ackeren Hall that were initiated by Jeffrey Breese, Ph.D., interim vice president for academic affairs.

Breese said the growth of the physical and occupational therapy programs, as well as the creation of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, led to a change in office placements in Van Ackeren. The PT and OT departments moved to offices on the second floor, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness moved to the third floor and both The Center for Service Learning and FIP moved into the learning center.

By housing more student services in one area, the University is taking its first steps into creating something similar to a learning commons filled with the resources and technology students need to achieve.

“We’re really trying to change what students think about the learning center,” Breese said. “The Gervais Learning Center serves many different types of students with many different types of academic needs. By moving more towards a learning commons, we will be able to fulfill the various needs of our students all under one roof.”

For now, Volin says the learning center will continue to provide more and more help to those students seeking to improve their academic life on campus. She projects this year, the learning center will break last year’s record of nearly 7,000 tutoring sessions.

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