In the heart of the Sonoma State University campus, the Learning Center waits to help students with their academic needs.
The Learning Center is located at 1040 Salazar Hall. They are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you can’t seem to make it in, they welcome phone calls at (707) 664-2853.
While the Learning Center use to house multiple departments for academic services, they currently only include the Tutorial Center and United for Success. The Tutorial Center offers one-on-one and small group learning assistance in a variety of academic subjects, which is free of charge to all undergraduate students. United for Success is a federally funded program that aims to give support to first-generation, low-income, and/or disabled students on an academic level, as well as on a personal level.
“For one-on-one support students have to be in [United for Success] but the workshops are there for us to share our knowledge more broadly with the university campus,” said Director of Academic Support Programs Leslie Shelton.
On average, twice a week they hold one-hour workshops, in which any undergraduate student can attend free of charge. Each workshop has a different topic. Topics include shutting down test and performance anxiety, avoiding plagiarism, writing a research paper and searching for scholarships.
“This is a great resource that is there for them and any student can utilize and come in and attend a workshop to gain skills. Our goal is that they walk away with something specific that addresses a need of theirs. So in the process of the workshop we try and find out what brought you here what are you looking for so they can walk away with their own strategies,” said Shelton.
“I didn’t know where to start [on my research paper] and this workshop is perfect because it helped me refresh my memory on writing techniques. The instructor was great and she gave useful information and new ideas for me to take to start my research paper,” said Cristina Flores, a third year sociology major.
“No matter where [students] are in their writing process, they are going to get some kind of value out of these workshops,” said Claudia Holt, presenter of the research paper workshop and a Learning Center writing specialist.
While the majority of these workshops are aimed to help students academically, there are a few workshops aimed at helping students in life, such as the Building a Better Budget workshop.
“We really want people to walk away with materials that they can apply to whatever they are studying and also some time management materials that will help them in areas to help keep their lives a little bit less stressful. The whole idea is to help them succeed in school, but also in life,” said Holt.
Holt encourages students to come out to the workshops because some students don’t even know that they need it but they will definitely walk away with something valuable. In the end Holt says it’s all for the students and with hopes of making their lives easier.
If students are interested in getting help at the Tutorial Center an appointment can be made online with a tutor at https://wiseguy.com/ssu. If students are interested in applying for United for Success, they can stop by the Learning Center and fill out the one page application.