Tutoring center to move to the library

Come fall 2013 there will be a lot more traffic to the library due to the tutoring center switching locations to the second-floor study area. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Andrea Schokker is very excited about the move.

“It is a nice corridor of campus,” Schokker said. “Students are already there for studying, so if they have a question they can get it answered right there and return to studying.”

Schokker explained that the main reason they wanted to move the tutoring center into the library was to develop a learning commons.

“A learning commons is a place for student success related to learning,” Schokker said.

It is a place where all the services a student could need are located under the same roof—in this case, the library.

“Learning commons is a trend across the nation,” said tutoring center director Claudia Martin.

Many other universities, such as the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, University of Illinois, University of Houston and University of Massachusetts, have already implemented a learning commons.

“We want to make the area into the main drag of campus,” Schokker said. “When you think of studying that’s the place to go.”

Schokker thinks there are many advantages to the move, some of which include a central location for studying, the ability to expand the hours of the tutoring center and more space.

“Hopefully once the students see what the vision is, they will be excited, too,” Schokker said.

The move of the tutoring center, which will be completed by Aug. 1, is just the first step of creating a learning commons. Schokker hopes to evaluate the progress and keep developing the area. She also said that eventually there will hopefully be some resources in the learning commons for faculty.

Paul Treuer, interim director, explained the learning commons as a “one-stop service for students.”

According to research that was done by Claudia Martin, the space was originally designed for 12,000 tutorials. During the 2011-12 school year the tutoring center had a total of 16,255 tutorials. “We are just bursting at the seams,” Treuer said. “We need to expand our services.” Decisions have not been made about what the new hours of the tutoring center will be, but Treuer hopes they can better suit the needs of students. “Students consistently have asked for more hours in the tutoring center and this would give us the opportunity to do that,” Treuer said. Treuer thinks the new location will be more convenient for students, and facilitate collaborative learning. Senior Justin Anderson, a tutor in the center, agrees with Treuer and thinks students will appreciate the move once they get used to it. “I’m super excited,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a great idea that will provide more space and resources.”Anderson explained some of the advantages of the move: more space, more access to computers and printers, proximity to people studying and students being able to use the location even after hours. Anderson said that he thinks the move will benefit the library as well.

Anderson thinks that in the long run students will find the move convenient, but at first students may be frustrated.

“I have high hopes for it and think people will respond well,” Anderson said.

Physics tutor Matt Mahonen has only one concern with the move.

“My only concern with moving it is that it may occupy study space,” Mahonen said. “This university already has very limited study space.”

However, Chemical Engineering major Breanna Lund thinks the library is a good location for the tutoring center.

“The library is a nice place to study. I think the move makes sense,” Lund said.

BY SHANNON KINLEY kinle005@d.umn.edu

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