New Center for Learning and Advancement Helps Students Succeed

September 25, 2009 / by / 0 Comment

New and returning students this fall will find a new resource aimed at helping both traditional and online students through any academic bumps in the road. The new Center for Learning and Advancement (CLA) is prepared to arm every student with the essential skills for academic success, according to Dr. Kevin Thrasher, who heads the new Center. CLA employs a combination of full and part-time tutors, as well as a growing list of online tools that include live, web conferencing technology. Dr. Thrasher says the primary focus will be on writing and math support.

“Those are the basic skills areas,” he says. “Without those tools, students can struggle across a number of courses.”

The Center staffs a number of full-time tutors – who will specialize in writing or math. Plans include adding local professionals who would be willing to offer their time as tutors. Some faculty members are also devoting a portion of their office hours to help tutor in specific content areas.

A number of resources are also available at the CLA web site for online students. The CLA web site is a one-stop shop with resources that will meet any student’s needs. Even students that may not need specific help can visit the center for test-taking techniques, study skills, reading strategies, time management and note-taking techniques. In addition, CLA collaborates with SMARTHINKING, an online tutorial service with access to learning support programs and certified online tutors.

“I am excited about the opportunities for our online students to connect with a tutor,” says Dr. Thrasher. “Whether students live across the country, in Tokyo, or are in the military they will be able to meet face-to-face through Web conferencing with a tutor. They can work together without being in the same room.”

The Center also is working with each college to enhance the effectiveness and availability of tutoring forums in ANGEL. Students can post questions that instructors can then respond to with support and help walk students through their inquiries.

Dr. Thrasher expects the online component to a benefit to both online and traditional students with busy schedules. Students can connect directly with the Learning Center from the comfort of their personal computer.

To access the CLA web site, go to For more information, contact Dr. Thrasher at

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