Learning Center Service Guidelines
The ultimate goal of staff is to help students become successful, autonomous learners and therefore, students are gradually required to become independent of services. In order to continue working with staff, a student must also display progress in the academic skills that he/she is attempting to develop. The maximum meeting time per week is 1 hr (exceptions may be made for first-time students or for students just beginning skills development process). Ongoing meetings from semester to semester are not the usual practice.
Following are one-on-one skills development services that staff members may work on with students to help students become independent learners:
- Time Management/Organization/Motivation
- Test Taking
- Study Skills/Basic Skills (Math, Reading, Writing, Note Taking)
- Learning Styles
- GWPE preparation
- Standardized test preparation and application process for college admission or graduate school admission (EPT, ELM, MPT, GRE)
- Feedback on Writing (Provide suggestions for improving writing skills and improving organization and development of papers)
- Probation Advising for students in academic difficulty
- Discipline specific study skills (i.e. Science, Social Science)
- Research skills
Following are services or assistance Learning Center Staff members do not provide to students:
- Long term, on-going course specific help (i.e. tutoring)
- Writing, typing, or dictating papers, letters, article, or other types of writing assignments
- Assistance with any work not related to classes or work not related to accomplishing a student's university academic goals
- Opinions about grades students "should" receive on papers or homework assignments
- Answers to problems and/or do homework and other assignments for students
Lab Assistant & Learning Center Lab Use
The services that student lab assistants provide differ from tutoring. While a tutor's main objective is to teach and explain the content of a particular subject, a lab assistant's aim is to use the content of a subject as a vehicle for teaching and modeling effective study skills, with the goal that the student will incorporate new strategies and become an independent learner. Lab assistants also assess students' needs by using our Student Profile, other study questionnaires, learning style inventories, the LASSI, and by talking and working with students. Some lab assistants also teach basic skills such as math, grammar, spelling, reading strategies or writing, depending on their level of expertise in the subject matter.
Student Interns attend ongoing training to work with students who are on academic probation. Only trained Interns make formal academic advising recommendations to students (in the form of Academic Success Plans), and only under the guidance of professional staff.
Lab assistants and Interns can meet for follow up appointments to help students with their motivation to stay on task; and with time management, organization, and other study skills. They may meet regularly to discuss and assess student progress. Ongoing, weekly meetings for this type of follow up are referred to as "coaching."
Below is a quick reference outline for the duties of lab assistants and the policies for Learning Center lab use. Not all lab assistants are qualified to help students with all of the services listed. The type of support that each lab assistant can provide is determined by his/her skill level, coursework, and expertise in specific areas.
Following are services that Lab Assistants may provide to students:
- Time management and organizational strategies
- Assist in researching topics using the internet, library online databases, and lab resources
- Prompt students / helping them brainstorm for papers and projects
- Teach study strategies (general and course specific )
- Assist students with the writing process for classes in which they are enrolled, essays for graduate school, the GWPE, attaining internships, or other writing that relates to academic goals
- Refer them to other campus resources
- Provide minimal help to students learning to navigate HSU Web mail and HSU web pages
- Provide guidance and direction for using our computer programs and other resource materials
- Assist with preparation for standardized testing for the purpose of enrolling in one of HSU's courses or programs
Following are services Lab Assistants may not provide to students:
- Assist students in courses with which they do not feel they have expertise or feel comfortable in providing assistance.
- Write for students. This includes writing papers, essays, paragraphs, sentences, partial sentences, etc.
- Scribe or type for students. (However they can teach student how to access our tutor typing program.)
- Act as "readers" by reading large amounts of text aloud instead of the student reading his/her own text.
- "Edit" papers. Staff does, however, read and review papers with students and provide feedback about the paper's organization, clarity, content, grammar, and mechanics.
- Counsel students.
- Provide financial aid advising or academic advising (with the exception of Interns who may provide academic advising under guidance).
The goal of our peer tutorial services is to help students grasp the content of challenging classes and mastering the study skills necessary to become successful learners in the specific discipline.
Following are services the tutors may provide to students:
- Guide students to develop their own learning strategies and help improve study skills for the class for which the student is being tutored.. In order to continue work with a tutor, a student must also display progress in the academic course in which he/she is receiving tutoring
- Help students find their own answers to questions and help students learn methods to solve problems independently
- Provide suggestions for improving writing skills or improving organization and development of writing assignments (students must come to session with a draft of the writing assignment)
- Explain course specific content
Following are services the tutors may not provide to students:
- Substitute sessions for attending classes
- Complete homework or other assignments
- Work on "take-home" tests
- Write or type, papers, letters, articles, or other types of writing assignments.
- Correct all errors on papers or homework
- Think for the student
- Offer opinions concerning grades
Tutors' Expectations of Students:
- Attempt all homework problems or other assignments before session
- Complete reading assignments before session
- Review lecture notes before session
- Draft writing assignments before meeting with tutors
- Bring all relevant materials to the session (books, notes, syllabus, drafts, etc)
Lab Use Guidelines
Who is eligible to use the lab?
- Students enrolled in HSU, Extension, or VUB courses can get assistance with their enrolled coursework or for study skills.
- Disqualified students who are petitioning for reinstatement.
- Students who anticipate attending HSU within the next year and need help in areas that would help them gain admission, such as standardized test preparation.
- HSU Alumni
- Referrals from HSU faculty or staff
Utilizing Lab Assistant Help: Hours per week
Since the mission of the Learning Center Lab is to help students become independent learners and because of our limited staffing, individual meetings with lab assistants are limited to a maximum of one to two hours a week for new students. Students who have ongoing meetings throughout the semester are limited to meeting an hour a week. Students who have used services in past semesters may be served for a maximum of one hour per week if staffing permits. Exceptions may be made on a case-to-case basis.
Learning Center Staff's Expectations of Students:
- Come prepared with questions and materials
- Be on time for appointments
- Call to cancel or reschedule appointments
- Be polite to staff
- Be respectful of other lab users
Who is eligible for Learning Center Services?
- Students enrolled in classes at HSU/Extended Education
- Students or individuals referred to Learning Center by a university program, faculty members, or staff members
- In order to continue work with staff, lab assistants and/or tutors a student must display progress in the academic skills and/or coursework for which he/she is receiving services.
All Learning Center staff, professional and student, reserve the right to choose not to work with a student if the student:
- Is abusive, verbally or in any other manner
- Causes the staff member to feel uncomfortable or uneasy
- Is not displaying academic or skills progress or progress towards graduation
- Is not engaging him/herself in the learning process
- Is not abiding by the above guidelines