Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2013


Portrait of a Posse: How a handful of students from Chicago became campus leaders. Photo by A. Vincent Scarano

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Academic Resource Center making an impact

It's only existed for one semester, but the Academic Resource Center is already having an impact on student success.

“The benefit is tremendous and empowers students to be fully engaged in their learning,” says Carol Akai, the Bennett Assistant Professor of Human Development.

The center will provide tutoring, workshops and group study that focus not only on academics, but also on study skills and time management. It will encompass the Roth Writing Center and the Office of Disability Services, and its staff will work closely with staff and faculty in the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning.

“Many colleges offer tutoring centers,” says Noel Garrett, who was named the center's inaugural director in January. “Our aim is to transform the way that looks, creating a new model for student success. We want this to be a centralized place where exceptional students can maximize their potential, but at the same time, offer basic skill enhancement and academic resources to help them become more efficient and effective learners.”

The center will also assist students in developing quantitative skills such as using statistical reasoning, modeling empirical data, formulating mathematical descriptions and theories, and using mathematical techniques to explain data and predict outcomes.

In his first semester, Garrett held about 50 one-on-one meetings with students which, according to students and faculty, resulted in improved test scores and study habits.

Molly Huysman '16 sought Garrett's assistance with time management. “I am now able to stay on track better and even found that I had more free time than I thought,” she reported as the semester drew to a close.

The center, which was funded and endowed by an anonymous $11 million gift to the College, will occupy a 2,500-square-foot space on the second floor of Shain Library, following the library's renovation.

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