Student Affairs Spotlight: The Center for Learning Resources

Isaak Kifle

An Interview with Debbie Malewicki and Jodi Shydlo

Office Location: Marvin K. Peterson Library, bottom floor

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30 A.M.-10:00 P.M.; Friday 9:30 A.M.-1:30 P.M. Sunday 3:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Contact: [email protected] or 203-932-7215

 

What can you say about the history of this office?

 

The Center for Learning Resources (CLR) was created in the 1980’s as one of the first centralized tutor centers in the country, as opposed to the traditional university model of situating tutors for each subject area in the related department. It has expanded greatly since then, with the Peer Tutor Program being added in 2008.

 

Who comprises the staff?

 

Debbie Malewicki is the director of the CLR, and Jodi Shydlo is the associate director. The current Peer Tutoring coordinator is Bradley Parcella. The CLR employs one other graduate student and four undergraduates to compose their administrative staff. From there, the CLR provides over 50 tutors, including professional tutors who hold a master’s degree or higher and possess university-level teaching experience, as well as graduate and undergraduate student tutors who are recommended by their departments and who undergo 15+ hours of CRLA (College Reading & Learning Association) training.

 

What services do you offer to students?

 

The CLR offers academic support and tutoring to students in a variety of areas. The Math, Science, and Business Lab offers tutoring to assist students in understanding subject matter in disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, math, physics, and economics. The Peer Tutoring Program offers support in primarily major and minor-related subjects such as accounting, biology, EAS, nutrition and dietetics, dental hygiene, and more. In the Writing Lab, students can receive personalized assistance with their writing from professional tutors, as well as preparation for the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) which every undergraduate student must take to graduate. While tutors will not do the work for now, they will give advice as to how you can improve your writing skills. The Computer Lab, staffed by graduate and undergraduate students, comes equipped with software that students may utilize for classes. The Center also puts on a multitude of workshops every semester, with topics including how to construct research papers, properly use MLA and APA citations, English and chemistry post-test preparation, and plagiarism. Lastly, the CLR also uses TutorTrac®, software that allows students to make appointments with tutors and register for workshops online.

 

Is there anything else you would like students to know?

 

The CLR received over 13,000 visits from students last year. Approximately 88 percent of the students who received tutoring passed their classes with a C or higher grade with two thirds in the A and B range. On December 14, the Reading Day right before the beginning of finals, the CLR will host their Smart and Healthy Finals Prep Day, where anyone can enjoy snacks while receiving advice to prepare effectively and efficiently for finals. Tutoring done correctly ensures that students end up with the knowledge and ability to do the work themselves, which is what the CLR aims to accomplish with all of its students.