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Learning Center Helps Keep Students on Track From First Year through Graduation

levitte killough learning center

It’s called the Learning Center but it could just as easily be called the Tutoring Center.

Or the Writing Center. Or the Studying Center. Or the Mathing Center, if “mathing” was a word.

“We are primarily a peer tutoring program, with tutoring being offered during the academic semesters,” said the center’s director, Karin Killough. “We welcome all types of learners from all backgrounds. We work with students from their first year to their senior year from most majors. We work with students who are struggling in one course, and we work with students who find themselves struggling in the majority of their courses.”

The Claude J. Clark Learning Center opened its doors in the fall of 1989. Located on the first floor of Feinberg Library adjacent to academic advising, the center’s mission is to support students, faculty and staff, from its peer tutoring program to collaborating with constituents from across campus and across disciplines.

Tutoring Services

Regan Levitte, assistant director and writing specialist, said the center offers students “three peer-based tutoring services: writing support, academic personal training, and content — or course-based — tutoring.”

In addition, the center recently added a small cadre of professional STEM tutors, and they’re searching for an English language learner support specialist who will develop curriculum for English-as-a-second-language courses.

Levitte said the ELL support specialist will also “help with English proficiency testing and placement for international students in coordination with the Global Education Office, serve as a resource for all non-native speakers of English on campus (both international and domestic), and maybe do some one-to-one tutoring as needed.”

Content Tutors

Most tutors are currently enrolled undergrads with a few grad students in the mix, Killough said. Students in need of tutoring can schedule an appointment through Cardinal Star although walk-ins are allowed. Students are also allowed — even encouraged — to walk in for the center’s open study times, which can be found here: https://www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/resources/learning-center/index.html, especially during finals week.

Content tutors — those tutoring in course areas such as biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and more —  must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time SUNY Plattsburgh student
  • Have completed the course(s) at SUNY Plattsburgh they’re interested in tutoring
  • Have earned a grade of B or better in the course(s)
  • Have maintained a minimum of a 2.75 GPA
  • Have a minimum of sophomore standing
  • Be interested in tutoring more than one course for more than one semester
  • Be able to complete either TTR101 tutor training seminar (one-credit hybrid course) or non-credit new tutor training overview course

Content walk-in times can be found here: https://www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/resources/learning-center/walk-in.html.

Writing Tutors

Students interested in being writing tutors can assist students with any of their writing needs, whether they have English papers or writing assignments in other areas, science labs or presentations that need writing elements. Writing tutors must meet the following criteria:

  • Have earned a B+ or higher in ENG101
  • Take ENG390: Writing Tutoring Theory and Practice course before applying, earning a B+ or better
  • Be enrolled as a full-time SUNY Plattsburgh student
  • Have maintained a minimum of a 2.75 GPA

Killough said that she would like everyone — students, faulty and staff — to feel “welcome here and to feel like we are able to meet them where they’re at,” she said.

“I would love for the Learning Center to be one of the places on campus that students, staff and faculty talk about and share stories of how we have made a difference, helped them become the person they are, and supported them throughout their time on campus,” she said.

Killough said she hopes faculty and staff “have confidence in the work we do and look to us as colleagues who are eager to collaborate.”

‘Why Not You?’

To that point, Levitte can often be found making classroom visits to talk about what the Learning Center has to offer, including workshops and presentations geared for Cardinal Foundation Seminars such as time management and study skills and note taking 101, among other offerings.

“Tutoring is good for students,” Levitte said. “Honors students come to tutoring — why not you?”

For more information, on tutoring, becoming a tutor or other services offered at the Learning Center, call 518-564-6134 or email [email protected].

— Story, Photo by Associate Director of Communications Gerianne Downs

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