Central Penn College - Learning Center

Central Penn College

 

Learning Center

Helping students succeed

Mission statement:

The Learning Center helps students develop their writing and subject-specific skills by providing individualized assistance in a supportive environment, resulting in greater academic performance and an improved ability to participate in field-related discourse. 

Goals:

  • Improve writing and subject-specific skills of student users
  • Improve academic performance of student users
  • Elicit positive attitudinal shifts in student users
  • Provide a supportive and culturally-diverse student space
  • Provide trained and effective staff
  • Respond to the needs of the institution

2016 Highlights:

  • The Learning Center facilitated 691 tutoring sessions.
  • The Learning Center assisted 187 individual clients.
  • Learning Center users rated their overall experience a 4.61 out of 5.

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Contact the Learning Center

Learning Center FAQs

What is The Learning Center?

The Learning Center is a network of tutoring assistants that supports academic success.  Students meet with tutoring assistants for help improving in their coursework and assignments and discuss resources for improving academic success.  Sessions will be casual and collaborative conversations between student and assistant. 

Where is The Learning Center located?

The Learning Center is located in ATEC 302 in Summerdale.  We also have tutors at the Lancaster campus and online.  

What if I need help after hours?

You can also access The Learning Center resources 24/7 through the Center’s Blackboard page.  To access the Center’s Blackboard page, log-in to Blackboard from the student portal.  Once there, click The Learning Center tab located along the top frame of your Blackboard home page. 

How do I schedule an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment using The Learning Center’s online scheduling system called WCOnline.  To access WCOnline, log-in to the student portal and select the WCOnline tile.  From there, you will see a schedule of available tutors.

Writing Center Policies & Procedures

PROCEDURES OF A SESSION

In order to lead productive sessions within the thirty minute time limit, we tend to follow a general order of operation:

1. The student and assistant introduce themselves.

    • If the student is a walk-in, the student and assistant complete an appointment form using the Learning Center’s online scheduling system (WCOnline) to document the session.
    • If the student has an appointment, the student and assistant will review the appointment form together to determine the focus of the session.

    2. The assistant works with the student on the academic issue:

      • If a writing assignment, the tutor will review the paper with the assistant, walk through their process, ask questions, and provide resources.  Tutors will introduce strategies for writing and ask students to try them during the session.
      • If a math or accounting assignment, the tutor may ask the student to walk them through their process, answer questions, work through practice problems, and provide resources.
      • If an academic issue, the tutor may ask questions about the academic issue (such as study skills, time management, note-taking, etc.) and provide resources to help improve those areas.

      3. As the session ends, the assistant:

        • provides specific tasks or takeaways for the student to continue working beyond the session
        • provides a brief summary of what was covered and enters it into the client report form.
        • asks the student if he/she would like the report form sent to the faculty member
        • asks the student if he/she would like to schedule a follow-up session

        4. A survey is automatically emailed to students when their session ends to provide us with feedback on our services. 

        STUDENT PREPARATION FOR A SESSION

        The student should:

        • complete an appointment form.
        • visit the Center several days before an assignment’s due date to provide adequate revision time.
        • bring copies of their work, their assignment sheet, and a list of specific questions for the assistant.
        • be willing and eager to participate. 

        MAINTAINING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

        Assistants will:

        • ensure the students retain ownership of the assignment at all times.
        • help students interpret and implement faculty feedback.
        • provide feedback for improvement rather than “edits” or grade speculation.
        • collaborate with students on how to implement students’ ideas.
        • provide holistic feedback and strategies for problem-solving.

        Math Bootcamp

        What is the Math Bootcamp?

        The Math Bootcamp is a review tool. It is presented as a Blackboard course, but it is free, not graded, and not worth credit. There is no instructor for the course; instead, it is self-paced. Students can complete as much or as little of the coursework as they want, and they can take as much time as they want to do so. In other words, the Math Bootcamp is entirely self-driven on the students part.

        What is the purpose of the Math Bootcamp?

        The Math Bootcamp was designed to help students review for the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra placement test. Students who want to place out of remedial math but need to review some basic concepts first can complete the Math Bootcamp before taking the placement test.

        What can students expect to do in the Math Bootcamp?

        The Math Bootcamp is separated into five units, based on the topics covered on the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra placement test. Those units (and subunits) are:

        1. Operations with Rational Numbers

          1. Integer Operations

          2. Fractions, Decimals, Percents

        2. Solving Equations in One Variable

        3. Operations with Exponents

        4. Polynomial Expressions

        5. Linear Equations

        Each unit (or subunit) begins with a 10-question, multiple choice Pre-Test. Students who earn a 9/10 or a 10/10 move on to the next unit (or subunit). Students who earn an 8/10 or below receive instructions to watch several interactive videos about the topic (described in the next paragraph), following which they complete another 10-question, multiple choice Post-Test. Students may retake the Post-Test as many times as they want.

        Videos in the Math Bootcamp are designed through a software called PlayPosit. The software presents a couple minutes of video followed by a question about the content for students to respond to. In this way, the videos immediately engage students in the material.

        In addition to the five units, the Math Bootcamp also includes several videos called Calculator Tips. These videos help students use various types of calculators, including scientific and graphing (in both Casio and TI brands) as well as the calculators common to cell phones. They address the following common issues:

        The Learning Center at Central Penn College

        1. Subtraction and negative signs

        2. Parentheses

        3. Fractions

        4. Exponents

        Students can refer to the Calculator Tips at any point in the Math Bootcamp course.

        What value are students getting from the Math Bootcamp?

        The Math Bootcamp has proven valuable in helping students to improve their Placement Scores; one student brought her Placement Test score from a 51 to a 90 after completing the Math Bootcamp.

        Additionally, the Calculator Tips benefit students even beyond their preparation for the Placement Test. Many students who enroll in the remedial math course return to the Math Bootcamp to watch the Calculator Tips videos.

        Where can you get more information about the Math Bootcamp?

        The Math Bootcamp is coordinated through the Learning Center. You can contact the director, Megan Rehm, with questions you have.

        Faculty and Staff members are also invited to enroll in the Math Bootcamp if they want to familiarize themselves with the course format and content. Contact Megan Rehm if you would like to enroll.

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