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Establishing the Learning Center as the Nucleus in a Learner Centered Institution. Saundra Yancy McGuire, Ph.D. Asst. Vice Chancellor for Learning, Teaching, & Retention Professor, Department of Chemistry Past Director, Center for Academic Success Louisiana State University.

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establishing the learning center as the nucleus in a learner centered institution

Establishing the Learning Center as the Nucleusin a Learner Centered Institution

Saundra Yancy McGuire, Ph.D.

Asst. Vice Chancellor for Learning, Teaching, & Retention

Professor, Department of Chemistry

Past Director, Center for Academic Success

Louisiana State University

learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes
  • Discuss the “best case scenario” position of the learning center, and describe the actions necessary to take it from its current position to the “best case scenario” position
  • Identify the departments, administrative units and individuals that will be allies in your quest for campus leadership
  • Describe the local and national initiatives necessary to improve campus influence
  • Discuss specific strategies that will successfully move the learning center to a leadership position
  • Write an action plan that you can begin implementing in Fall 2012
reflection questions
Reflection Questions
  • What are the major drivers for making the learning center the nucleus of a learner centered institution?
  • What are the major barriers to making the learning center a leader on your campus?
learning center partners
Learning Center Partners
  • Faculty
  • Student Organizations
  • Departments
  • Colleges
  • University Centers
  • Others?
think pair share
Think/Pair/Share

What are three important characteristics of departments that are campus leaders?

the role of learning support centers in academic improvement
The Role of Learning Support Centers in Academic Improvement
  • Provide faculty and TA’s with information on the learning process, characteristics of their students, and learning strategies they can teach students
  • Assist faculty in advising students about effective study skills (Absent Professor Program)
  • Help students identify the problem with their performance (e.g. memorizing vs understanding)
  • Help the institution improve retention and graduation rates
scientific and theoretical bases supporting the learning center programs
Scientific and Theoretical Bases Supporting the Learning Center Programs
  • Cognitive Science Principles
  • Metacognition
  • Constructivist Learning Theory
learning centers can significantly impact retention and graduation rates

Learning Centers Can Significantly ImpactRetention and Graduation Rates…

but we must overcome some significant barriers

slide10

Conducted in Spring for all First Year Students

  • Intro Session – High School vs. College
  • Breakout Sessions (Pick 2 topics)
    • Ace My Tests/How I Learn
    • Get Organized/Reduce My Stress
  • Follow-up Component
    • College Coaches Pilot for (1.6 – 1.999)

Spring 2010 IMPACT Program Format

slide11

Results from Spring 2010

Amount of GPA increase from Fall to Spring

Difference in average spring semester GPA

slide12

Results from Spring 2010

Retention from Spring 2010 to Fall 2010

20% Difference!

slide13

Student Feedback from Spring 2010

I had fallen below the GPA requirement my scholarship demands, and I was sure there was no hope for me and maybe I just wasn’t cut out for it. However, after IMPACT I really utilized all the tools I was given … With all these tools, I was able to discover that I do have time for other fun and important things, such as a social life and most importantly, sleep… I can now proudly say that after beginning college with a 2.79 GPA, I have just recently finished midterms week with a solid 4.0!!

Thank you so much, and please continue with programs like IMPACT and CAS!!

slide15
Five Barriers to LC Recognition

Mindset that we’re only for remedial students

Teaching and Learning Centers that focus only on faculty development

Attitude that any good, student friendly faculty or student can effectively tutor

Learning centers that are not connected to the community of scholars in this field

The absence of a clear academic pathway to working in this area

slide17
Present workshops at accreditation body meetings (SACS, WASC, NEASC)

Publish in learning center and discipline specific journals

Get our NCLCA leadership certification; certify our tutors; apply the CAS standards; etc

Present our work at meetings outside of the learning center community (POD, NISOD, discipline specific meetings)

Offer to help the daughter, son, or other relative of an influential administrator

slide18
Develop a message that is NOT threatening to faculty, and present faculty development workshops

Get recognition for ourselves and our learning centers

Work with all students – first year through graduate school, Greeks, Honor Societies, etc.

Partner with other units on campus to secure funding (e.g. Student Success & Retention)

Stake our claim to the center of the institution!

becoming the nucleus
Becoming the Nucleus…
  • What are the characteristics of your institution and learning center (or services)
  • Who will be involved in moving to the center?
  • What actions need to be taken?
  • What human and financial resources will be needed?
  • How will you go about getting them?
  • What will success look like?
we can significantly increase the influence of the learning center
We can significantly increase the influence of the learning center!
  • We must teach our institution the value of what we do for ALL students
  • We must partner with other units
  • We must continue to be data driven, and present the data to others
  • We must continue to improve our services
  • We must increase our presence on the national stage and pursue national recognition
slide21

Acknowledgements

  • Colleagues at LSU, especially the Center for Academic Success, the Division of Student Life and Enrollment Services, and the Department of Chemistry
  • Sarah Baird, former CAS learning strategist
  • National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA)
  • College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)
  • Dr. Frank Christ
  • Innovative Educators
  • The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group (TLT)
  • Our many students who have proven to us that metacognitive strategies really do work!
useful websites
Useful Websites
  • http://lsche.net/
  • www.howtostudy.org
  • www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp
  • www.drearlbloch.com
  • www.pvc.maricopa.edu/~lsche/
  • www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html
  • www.cas.lsu.edu
  • www.oncourseworkshop.com
references
References
  • Bruer, John T. , 2000. Schools For Thought: A Science of Learning in the Classroom. MIT Press.
  • Burns, James MacGregor, 1978. Leadership. New York: Harper and Row.
  • Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., Cocking, R.R. (Eds.), 2000. How people learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • Christ, F. L., 1997. Seven Steps to Better Management of Your Study Time*. Clearwater, FL: H & H Publishing
  • Cooper, Morton., 1990. Winning With Your Voice. Los Angeles, CA: Voice and Speech Company of America.
  • Halpern, D.F and Hakel, M.D. (Eds.), 2002. Applying the Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Nilson, Linda, 2004. Teaching at It’s Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company.
  • Murray, M. and Owen, M.(1991). Beyond the Myths of Mentoring. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.
  • Taylor, S. (1999). Better learning through better thinking: Developing students’ metacognitive abilities. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 30(1), 34ff. Retrieved November 9, 2002, from Expanded Academic Index ASAP.
  • http://academic.pg.cc.md.us/~wpeirce/MCCCTR/metacognition.htm
  • Zull, James (2004). The Art of Changing the Brain. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.