“Tutoring Center” is certainly straightforward, assuming that is the only service that is provided (no academic coaching, etc.).  I agree with what one or two others have said about the negative or “remedial” connotations of the word “support”; I would stay away from that.  Our learning center is called “Academic Success” because we want students to positively associate us with their own success.  We intentionally omitted the word “Center” at the end because seemingly everything on our campus has the word “Center” in it, and we didn’t want to add to the confusion.  I prefer “Learning Commons” over “Student Center,” but that may be in part because on our campus the “Student Center” houses student services such as the registrar, financial aid, etc.—but not academic support services.  The bottom line is names do matter, and they definitely help shape students’ perceptions of what you do and whether what you do is for them.

Bruce Epps
Director, Academic Success
Blackmore Library 205
Capital University
1 College and Main
Columbus, Ohio  43209-2394
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Ph. (614) 236-6461
Fax (614) 236-6728
Schedule tutoring appointments at

From: "Campa, Samantha" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:32 PM
Subject: Naming our Spaces

Hello all,

With some resources shifting around this summer, we are thinking about the names of our spaces. Here are a couple of our dilemmas:

1) The debate between "Tutoring Center" and "Academic Support Center": do we call it what it is (the Tutoring Center) and therefore make it more easily understandable to students OR do we stick with Academic Support Center which avoids the stigma associated with the word Tutoring?

2) The debate about whether to rename this whole floor of the Student Center (which houses tutoring, the library, and the Writing Center): do we call it the Learning Commons or something similar to unify the space OR do we stick to the individual names which are clearer and more utilized by students anyway?

Have you have grappled with similar scenarios? What works (and doesn't work) for your institutions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Samantha Campa
Academic Support Advisor
Iowa Western Community College
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