Learning Commons expanding to better serve

Laramie County Community College’s Learning Commons, located in the Ludden Library, is undergoing new changes and expansions to increase the amount of academic help that it can offer students, ease the difficulties of scheduling appointments and offer employment to experienced students.

The Learning Commons is made up of three different subsections: the Student Success Center, the Writing and Communications Center and PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions).

The Student Success Center offers subject-specific tutoring in a wide array of subjects, workshops and tips for college success. In the first two weeks of the spring semester it had already conducted 30 campus and in-class workshops with the Writing and Communications Center. These workshops helped groups of students with time management, study skills and intricacies of APA format.

As the name states, the Writing and Communications center can help students in any English or Communication courses, but it isn’t just limited to those subjects. In fact, it can help you with any papers or presentations in any course, whether it be honing CMS, MLA and APA skills or learning to control nervousness before a verbal presentation.

Peer-Assisted Study Sessions, or PASS, was introduced last semester and is an interesting component of the Learning Commons. Right now this program consists of bi-weekly study sessions in particularly challenging courses such as ZOO 2010 and 2020, PSYCH 1000 and Anatomy courses. These sessions are led by students who have taken the specific classes within the last year and earned a B or higher as a grade. This semester they are hoping to extend PASS services to include CHEM 1000 and 1020, BIO 1010, and COSC 1200.

Some of the new changes that have occurred this year include extended hours and new online tutoring options. Now open seven days a week, the new schedule for the Student Success Center, in LIB 429 and the Writing and Communications Center, in LIB 430 is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The online tutoring options now open up even broader opportunities for students to receive help from tutors. By visiting tutor.lccc.wy.edu and signing in with a print management/wireless username and password, students can set up appointments with subject-specific tutors who will be available at times that are convenient for them.

“This is a very successful change.” Learning Commons Director Jennifer Dempsey said. “The students now have the power to schedule, change and cancel appointments on their own, anytime, without having to worry about calling or showing up during Learning Commons hours.”

Can’t get to LCCC in person? Taking LCCC courses in a different city? No worries.

This semester, the Learning Commons is offering online appointments with in-house tutors for the first time. When scheduling an appointment at the website mentioned above, simply indicate that you desire to have an online appointment and you will be presented with detailed instructions for using the WorldWideWhiteboard tutoring service through the D2L student resources widget. This widget comes from the same company as NetTutor, the previous third party online tutoring service that will still be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to students who desire to continue using that to receive help from tutors around the world. However, WorldWideWhiteboard provides the opportunity to receive help from Learning Commons employees through a variety of ways such as editing documents, messaging and video-audio communication.

With all this expansion, the Learning Commons offices are hiring students interested in earning money to tutor other students. Students who have taken PSYCH 1000, CHEM 1000 or 1020, BIO 1010 or COSC 1200 within the past year and received a B or higher are eligible to apply to become PASS leaders.

To be hired by the Student Success Center you have to have earned a B or higher in the course or courses for which you want to tutor. It’s accepting applicants from a wide range of courses, and, for the SSC, you don’t have to have taken the course within the last year. The Writing and Communications Center, while previously only hiring professional writing consultants with a Bachelor’s degree or more, is now welcoming students to apply as well.

“Tutoring for the Learning Commons is one of the highest-paying student jobs on campus and is a great way for students to get transferrable professional skills,” Dempsey said.

The tutoring program is internationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association, and it will pay for all hired tutors to obtain a lifetime certification themselves, which is transferable to all learning institutions. These jobs are flexible, offering four to 18 hours a week. If interested applicants can apply online at lccc.wy.edu/about/humanResources/index.aspx, stop by in person at LIB 429 or 430, email Dempsey at jdempsey@lccc.wy.edu or call at 307-778-4315.

“Our services are for all students. Every person can benefit from talking about their paper or studying with another person,” Dempsey said. “Students who utilize the Learning Commons earn and maintain GPAs that are .17 to .30 higher than students who don’t and are retained (stay in school) at a twenty percent higher rate than non-users. Our Services are free to all students and we hope everyone visits us this semester.”

About Jason Lux (29 Articles)
I’m from a tiny town just north of Rock Springs, Wyoming called Farson. If you know of it at all, it’s almost certain that it’s due to its famous ice cream store that will put a half gallon into a single cone. Otherwise, it’s a two-gas station town with ranches scattered among oilfield businesses. I spent my time there building fences, herding cattle, lighting bonfires, and participating in all other rural activities. At 18 I sought out the world beyond Farson. I hitchhiked and rode greyhound busses across the country for a few months, living out of my backpack and exploring the amazing American landscape. I settled in Eugene, Oregon for about a year, worked odd jobs and passed the time until I decided to move back to Wyoming and attend Laramie County Community College. I’ve majored in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and Spanish. I enjoy painting, drawing, reading and traveling to learn about different cultures and the vast plains of humanities variations. In the fall I’ll be heading to UW to major in Latin American Studies and hope to cultivate a career in travel and international relations.

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