A new centralized learning center will formally showcase all that it has to offer for students, parents and faculty during an open house this Friday.
The open house will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nugent Building. The event will consist of guided tours through the building and information about tutoring services, along with presentations by Jeff Orgera, executive director of Student Academin Learning Services, and Melissa Vito, vice president of Student Affairs.
The ""Think Tank"" at the Student Academic Learning Center opened its doors at the start of the semester, and has already served several thousand students, Orgera said.
Prior to the creation of the Think Tank, there were many separate tutoring programs all over campus, for specific types of students with specific needs, which was not efficient or economical, said Student Affairs officials.
Student Affairs went through a large transformation process last year, and decided to pull all the tutoring programs into one central place to make it easier for students to utilize.
Combining the separate tutoring programs resulted in the first centralized learning support department on campus — like one-stop shopping for class help.
The center consists of the writing center, math and science tutoring and peer mentoring, as well as drop-in tutoring and multiple types of workshops.
All of the programs offered are available to all UA students and are entirely free, with the exception of one-on-one appointment tutoring.
All the tutors are juniors, seniors or graduate students who must attend a series of workshops on how to be an effective teacher pass a certification process through the College Reading and Learning Association.
The center is currently developing upper division tutoring for juniors and seniors who are in need of help with advanced courses.
""That's where we really want to go,"" Orgera said. ""The SALT Center and McKale both have those types of upper division tutors available — and the Think Tank can draw from the resources and make them available to the rest of the campus.""
""This is really the grand opening that we never had,"" said Victor Mercado, academic resource specialist for the UA. ""We are hoping to raise awareness for the Think Tank, and for students, parents and faculty to realize what resources are available to them.""