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>Name of your college: University of Richmond
>
>How many years has your center been open: 7 years
>
>Is there a movement to close it?  If yes, why?  No. In fact, we are in the
process of upgrading the wage rates for tutors. Faculty, staff, and
students are very positive about the Academic Skills Center. We get a
strong number of referrals each year from each of these constituents.
>
>Approximately how many students do you serve, in terms of any units of
>measure you use? We serve approx. 600+ a year.
>
>Do you include tutoring services? Yes, we provide tutoring in study
skills, time management, and various disciplines (i.e., calculus,
chemistry, accounting, etc.).
>
>What differences do you see occurring in terms of usage over the past
>3-5 years? The number of students coming to the Center has steadily
increased each year. Five years ago, we saw as many as 890 students. That
period, however, was during the time in which we offered 30-minute tutoring
slots. We now offer 60-minute tutoring sessions.
>
>What are the other questions I should be asking? We see a lot of freshmen
each year. If that's the case at your school, I would ask how many students
do not return for the second year. Along those lines, I would ask how much
money does your school lose due to attrition each year. I am a former
admissions officer; and it is fascinating to note that there are still
institutions out there that do not seem to understand that it takes more
money to retain students than to recruit them.
>
>What are other trends of which I should be aware? The Chronicle had an
article this summer which discussed the growing number of schools that were
concerned about awarding students AP credit. Apparently, they were seeing
that some students who took AP courses and scored high on the exams learned
through rote memory. They also were seeing that these students struggled
with the upper level college courses once they entered college since many
of these courses were application based. I have witnessed similar patterns
at my institution. I can testify to the number of students who have superb
high school credentials yet struggle once they matriculate because many of
them are used to learning information through rote memory as opposed to
application/critical thinking.
>So...this information refutes your person's idea that "good colleges don't
need learning centers because they have only good students".

If there is any thing further I can do to help you, please let me know.
Best wishes in your deliberations.
>

Hope N. Walton
Director of Academic Skills
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA 23173
PH:  804/289-8626
FAX: 804/289-8375