Learning Center moves to new department

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The Sanger Learning and Career Center recently moved into the School of Undergraduate Studies, but it has already been aiding students by providing resources and staff to help freshman and other students struggling with academics.

The center, located in Jester West, was previously part of the Division of Student Affairs and is a recent addition to the UGS. The center works closely with UGS and other colleges on campus. It not only provides tutoring and academic counseling, but also assistance with exploring graduate school and career options.

“We see about three-fourths of the freshman class each year,” said Sanger Learning and Career Center director Alan Constant. “Primarily, we focus on courses first-year students will take.”

Constant said the center’s most popular services are the tutoring services, which serve over 3,000 students every year. Sanger offers both appointment tutoring and drop-in tutoring, available for many mathematics and natural sciences courses.

“I think it’s really helpful,” said freshman Karen Sanchez, a frequent visitor to Sanger.

“Especially if it’s your freshman year, when you’re kind of lost and don’t know where to go.”
Tutor Jenny Chen, a Plan II and economics junior, said that tutoring is most beneficial for students who are already working hard to excel.

“Sometimes the student says, ‘Thank you, that helped me so much,’” said Chen, who tutors calculus, economics and statistics. “But it depends on the student and how much they’re investing in the class.”

The center gives students the opportunity to schedule tutoring sessions to refresh their skills throughout the semester and final exam review sessions towards the end of the semester, Constant said.

Supplemental instruction is another service offered by the center. Constant said this program trains teaching assistants and adds discussion sections to large classes. He also said it’s one of the largest programs and one that many students aren’t aware of.

While Constant said many of the center’s programs are focused on first and second-year students, he also mentioned the programs for upper division and graduate students, including the PLUS program, in which upper-division students are trained to lead study groups, and the graduate writing service.

“We try to meet students from the time they arrive on campus all the way through their graduate careers,” he said. “If we don’t have what they need, we’ll find someone on campus who can help.”

Printed on October 11, 2011 as: Learning center moves into undergraduate studies school