The LCs Give 5 Presentations at Regional Conference
This spring break marked a milestone for the LCs as we prepared for the PA/NJ College Reading and Learning Association's annual conference. All of our full-time staff members except for one were able to attend the conference, including two of our part-time academic coaches.
The informative sessions presented throughout the day—marketing, assessment, tutoring techniques, civility in the tutoring context, and how to form valuable partnerships across campus—pushed us to reflect upon and broaden our understanding of our own services and how we can best support student learning on the New Brunswick Campus as we move forward into the summer and new academic year.
One of the highlights of the conference was the unprecedented acceptance of all five of our conference proposal submissions. This was a tremendous opportunity to share the successes of our programs and research projects with the PA/NJ CRLA community!
In her session, “Rutgers’ Learning Assistant Program: Learning Center and Faculty Partnerships," Dr. Mary Emenike described how central coordination through a Learning Center, using the Learning Assistant model, can create enduring partnerships with faculty, departments, and deans.
Lucille Lu's interactive presentation, “Academic Coaching: Developing & Assessing Academic Coaching Modules," began with how three to six week small group academic coaching modules, such as time management and reading strategies, transformed her coaching program’s delivery of service, and ended with participants brainstorming on how to develop, transform, and assess the impact of their own academic coaching programs.
As part of the Learning Centers’ Preparation in STEM Leadership Program research project, Sari Katzen presented “Measuring Peer Leaders’ Beliefs about Teaching and Learning.” Through written teaching philosophy statements, Sari discussed preliminary results that evaluate the effectiveness of peer leader training practices and assess peer leader’s evolving beliefs about teaching and learning.
Stacey Blackwell introduced participants to the Preparation in STEM Leadership (PSL) Program in her session, “Peer Leadership Positions’ Effects on Leadership & Communication Practices: Preliminary Results.” Stacey presented encouraging preliminary findings related to students’ development of leadership and communication skills after participating in peer leader positions for one semester.
As part of the Tutor Trak series, Nora Devlin's presentation, "Working with Disorganized Students," challenged the conventional way to "deal with" disorganized students, which often involves helping as long as it takes to get them organized before tackling whatever goal they had set for themselves. Using a novel coaching framework, Nora explored the question: What if there is another way to serve them that shows more respect for their strengths? Her presentation offered both a unique framework and several "out of the box" methods for addressing disorganization.
This one-day conference was a fantastic learning experience, a unique chance to network with other local academic support professionals, and an opportunity for us to share the exciting work that's happening at the Learning Centers. We were all gratified to have received excellent feedback from our colleagues from so many diverse institutions, and we look forward to having several follow-up conversations.