The Learning Center, helping students succeed
The Learning Center at Central Penn College provides a welcoming environment where students can receive individual academic assistance from tutors to improve their performance in courses as well as their confidence and independence as learners, and the Center responds to students’ pervasive academic needs through outreach to students and faculty at the college.
In 2018, the Learning Center facilitated 680 tutoring sessions.
What is THE LEARNING CENTER?
The Learning Center is a network of tutoring assistants that supports academic success. Students meet with tutoring assistants for help improving in their coursework and assignments and discuss resources for improving academic success. Sessions will be casual and collaborative conversations between student and assistant.
LEARNING CENTER LOCATION
The Learning Center is located in Bollinger 59 in Summerdale. We also have tutors at the Lancaster campus and online.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
You can schedule an appointment using The Learning Center’s online scheduling system. To access WCOnline, log-in to the student portal and select the WCOnline tile. From there, you will see a schedule of available tutors.
HELP AFTER HOURS
You can also access The Learning Center resources 24/7 through the Center’s Blackboard page. To access the Center’s Blackboard page, log-in to Blackboard from the student portal. Once there, click the Student Resources tab along the top frame, and then click the Learning Center sub-tab below the top frame.
Yes, you can meet with a tutor by video chat through our Virtual Learning Center. You’ll be able to screen-share, and the tutor can even write on a virtual white board to help you understand material. Simply select to meet online when you schedule your appointment, and then visit the Learning Center’s Blackboard page to find the Virtual Learning Center linked there.
Policies and Procedures
In order to lead productive sessions within the thirty minute time limit, we tend to follow a general order of operation:
1. The student and assistant introduce themselves.
- If the student is a walk-in, the student and assistant complete an appointment form using the Learning Center’s online scheduling system (WCOnline) to document the session.
- If the student has an appointment, the student and assistant will review the appointment form together to determine the focus of the session.
2. The assistant works with the student on the academic issue:
- If a writing assignment, the tutor will review the paper with the assistant, walk through their process, ask questions, and provide resources. Tutors will introduce strategies for writing and ask students to try them during the session.
- If a math or accounting assignment, the tutor may ask the student to walk them through their process, answer questions, work through practice problems, and provide resources.
- If an academic issue, the tutor may ask questions about the academic issue (such as study skills, time management, note-taking, etc.) and provide resources to help improve those areas.
3. As the session ends, the assistant:
- provides specific tasks or takeaways for the student to continue working beyond the session
- provides a brief summary of what was covered and enters it into the client report form.
- asks the student if he/she would like the report form sent to the faculty member
- asks the student if he/she would like to schedule a follow-up session
4. A survey is automatically emailed to students when their session ends to provide us with feedback on our services.
The student should:
- complete an appointment form.
- visit the Center several days before an assignment’s due date to provide adequate revision time.
- bring copies of their work, their assignment sheet, and a list of specific questions for the assistant.
- be willing and eager to participate.
MAINTAINING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
- ensure the students retain ownership of the assignment at all times.
- help students interpret and implement faculty feedback.
- provide feedback for improvement rather than “edits” or grade speculation.
- collaborate with students on how to implement students’ ideas.
- provide holistic feedback and strategies for problem-solving.
Central Penn College Math Bootcamp
WHAT IS THE MATH BOOTCAMP?
The Math Bootcamp is a review tool. It is presented as a Blackboard course, but it is free, not graded, and not worth credit. There is no instructor for the course; instead, it is self-paced. Students can complete as much or as little of the coursework as they want, and they can take as much time as they want to do so. In other words, the Math Bootcamp is entirely self-driven on the student’s part.
THE PURPOSE OF THE MATH BOOTCAMP
The Math Bootcamp was designed to help students review for the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra placement test. Students who want to place out of remedial math but need to review some basic concepts first can complete the Math Bootcamp before taking the placement test.
What can students expect from Math Bootcamp?
The Math Bootcamp is separated into five units, based on the topics covered on the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra placement test. Those units (and subunits) are:
- Operations with Rational Numbers
- Integer Operations
- Fractions, Decimals, Percents
- Solving Equations in
- One Variable
- Operations with Exponents
- Polynomial Expressions
- Linear Equations
Each unit (or subunit) begins with a 10-question, multiple choice Pre-Test. Students who earn a 9/10 or a 10/10 move on to the next unit (or subunit). Students who earn an 8/10 or below receive instructions to watch several interactive videos about the topic (described in the next paragraph), following which they complete another 10-question, multiple choice Post-Test. Students may retake the Post-Test as many times as they want.
Videos in the Math Bootcamp are designed through a software called PlayPosit. The software presents a couple minutes of video followed by a question about the content for students to respond to. In this way, the videos immediately engage students in the material.
In addition to the five units, the Math Bootcamp also includes several videos called Calculator Tips. These videos help students use various types of calculators, including scientific and graphing (in both Casio and TI brands) as well as the calculators common to cell phones. They address the following common issues:
- Subtraction and negative signs
Students can refer to the Calculator Tips at any point in the Math Bootcamp course.
What value are students getting from the Math Bootcamp?
The Math Bootcamp has proven valuable in helping students to improve their Placement Scores; one student brought her Placement Test score from a 51 to a 90 after completing the Math Bootcamp.
Additionally, the Calculator Tips benefit students even beyond their preparation for the Placement Test. Many students who enroll in the remedial math course return to the Math Bootcamp to watch the Calculator Tips videos.
Where can I get more info on Math Bootcamp?
The Math Bootcamp is coordinated through the Learning Center. You can contact the director, Megan Rehm, with questions you have.
Faculty and Staff members are also invited to enroll in the Math Bootcamp if they want to familiarize themselves with the course format and content. Contact Megan Rehm if you would like to enroll.
For more information contact MeganRehm@centralpenn.edu.