By Ehlayna NapolitanoSpecial to the Chronicle
This year, the University Tutorial Program has a lot to adjust to: in addition to a location consolidation with the Hofstra Writing Center, the UTP has also expanded to train students more aptly for generalized learning and life skills, with applications both in school and the workplace. Consolidation into the Collaborative Learning Center has impacted the way the UTP is able to work. The CLC, located on the second floor of Axinn Library, offers students a new opportunity to access several campus resources in one place: the UTP’s Academic Success Program, the Writing Center and Student and Faculty Computing Services. “Right there in front of them is every academic [source of help] they could want,” said Rachel Peel, who is assistant dean of student advisement and coordinator for the UTP. According to Peel, both the Tutorial Program and the Academic Success Program are now a part of the Collaborative Learning Center. The shift is being looked upon as a new opportunity to collaborate within departments and reach students in a new way. “We’re encouraging students to get [help] in the Collaborative Learning Center. We have this opportunity to collaborate in a space. . . and come together on the second floor,” Peel said. Peel does not think that the issue of space is a problem and says that the different aspects of the Collaborative Learning Center are still able to work separately. But now, they also have the ability to interconnect and help students as much as possible. “I think everyone wants space, in an ideal world. But it is certainly an exciting opportunity,” said Peel. The CLC is considered a new opportunity for students, as this collaboration between the University’s different tutorial programs has never been done before. Peel feels that its inception is one that offers a unique, adept approach to student learning. She thinks that the campus and the way students attend it have changed over the years. “At the end of the day, what’s good for students one day isn’t necessarily good the next day,” said Peel. “You have to change quickly to keep up. . . That’s our goal.” As for the Tutorial Program’s own interior developments, Jennifer Lebowitz, assistant dean of the UTP, describes their new Academic Success Program as a “dynamic” new addition. While the tutoring program is relatively unchanged from last year, the Academic Success Program will be a separate, workshop-based endeavor. “The skills students gain [with this program] are skills you need to know for school and for life,” said Lebowitz. “It’s for all students—students who are struggling and students succeeding who want bigger and better.” Unlike the tutoring program, which provides more specific one-on-one, subject-specific help, the Academic Success Program aims to offer a general approach to learning. The goal is to reach as many students as possible with workshops that focus on student improvement in organization and communication skills, studying techniques and note-taking. Elena Ivanova, a first-year graduate student who works as assistant for the Academic Success Program, handles the social media aspect of both the programs. “We just launched Twitter and Facebook [pages.] For students, this is how they communicate,” said Ivanova. According to Ivanova, the ASP Twitter account has jumped by about 46 followers in the past week. Ivanova has taken advantage of the “retweet” function to share current events and academic tips with students. She also claims that individuals outside the Hofstra community are paying attention to the tweets being sent out, demonstrating the “accessibility” of what the new program is doing with its resources. Taking advantage of these social networking sites is a new step for the department. “We posted about the new iPhone. Right now, we’re starting conversations. Hopefully, when we start having workshops. . . [this] will make it more appealing,” said Ivanova.