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University College announces creation of new department, two new programs

Feb. 26, 2009 -- University College announces the creation of a new department, Learning Support Services (LSS). Under the direction of Julie Thatcher, Learning Support Services has launched two programs this semester: the Learning Support Center (LSC) and Structured Learning Assistance (SLA).

The LSC offers peer tutoring in almost all 1000 and 2000 level general education courses, as well as some upper-division core courses. Tutoring is available by appointment, on a drop-in basis, and online through an LSC Blackboard 8 course. Additionally, students in Hawkes-based algebra courses have the opportunity to work with tutors in the LSC’s Math Lab. 

Spring semester hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The LSC is located in the Dean B. Ellis Library, Room 100. 

Students can make appointments by calling ext. 3451, emailing or visiting the center.
Both services, SLA and tutoring in the LSC, are FREE for ASU students.

The SLA program is a more proactive approach to learning support that targets high-risk courses rather than at-risk students. LSS looks for general education courses with higher rates of failure and attrition that may need SLA support. Once designated, any student can enroll into an SLA section through the normal registration process, and SLA workshops will appear on a student’s schedule in addition to the course lecture. 

All students are required to attend the SLAs until the first assessment, after which time only students scoring below a certain grade, as determined by the course instructor, are required to attend. Each assessment thereafter is an opportunity to “test in” or “test out” of SLA.

Essentially, SLA support becomes mandatory for students who need it the most and an optional resource for those performing well. The SLA facilitators design thoughtful learning experiences that integrate learning strategies and study skills with course content. SLA is currently being piloted in sections of Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and Biological Science. There are plans to expand SLA into sections of Chemistry, History, Political Science, and possibly other subject areas in the fall 2009 semester.  

For more information, contact Julie Thatcher, coordinator, at ext. 3474, or e-mail



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