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March 2002 Issue

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Management Strategies & Tips 

By Frank L. Christ

Email: flchris@mindspring.com

Frank Christ PictureTip #19:  Getting the Word Out on Campus, Within your State, and Nationally on Learning Support Centers in Higher Education.

Learning Support Centers are still not as well known and recognized as they should be. Here are four observations to think about along with some initiatives that you may want to consider to achieve a greater degree of visibility and recognition for your learning support center.

  1. Most post secondary administrators and faculty are unaware that there is a learning support center on their campus but are interested in knowing that it is a academic support service that they can use to assist their students.

  2. Not enough learning support centers are involved with their state-wide online course offerings either as online or campus based support.

  3. Although there are many web pages that offer study skills tips and strategies, very few of them focus on the special learning and study challenges of online courses.

  4. Many administrators and faculty who are involved in online teaching or course development have either never taken an online course or have not taught one.


Based on these four observations, I would suggest that we, as learning skills specialists and learning support center administrators, consider the following initiatives:

bulletMake an effort to increase your public relations on campus to let everyone know what learning support centers do and how important they are for student retention, academic success, and satisfaction.
bulletMake an effort to find out if your campus is offering online courses and get involved with that department by offering your services as F2F and virtual online learning skills specialists.
bulletIf you have a web page, and every learning support center should, add a section specifically for online learning and study tips.
bulletIf you have never taken an online course, do it to get first-hand information about the challenges of online student learning and study challenges.
bulletPresent at a conference other than CRLA, NADE, and NCLCA such as Syllabus, TechEd, NECC, FYE, or NACADA to let other administrators and faculty know how useful your learning support programs and services are in increasing student retention, academic success and student satisfaction.


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