Towson University is a metropolitan university just north of
Baltimore with an FTE of 15,000 students.  We provide most
of the services that a "Learning Center" provides, but they
are at present decentralized.  My office, Developmental
Education, as well as Tutorial Services, Disability Support
Services, and the Counseling Center, among others, are
currently under the umbrella of the Office of Student Life.
We also have a SAGE office (a minority mentoring program),
and offices for International Students and Non-Traditional
Students.  There is discussion off and on about
consolidating several of these services in a "Learning
Center" or "Student Support Center", however we've only
gotten as far as housing a number of them in the same
building.  Centralization might improve cost figures.

One argument for continuing to have academic support
services available on a campus is to consider what would
happen to certain majors if the support wasn't available.
For example, what about the outstanding fine arts majors who
need developmental math and don't have it available.  What
about your science majors who need help with their writing
skills! And your business majors who didn't realize they had
to take a statistics course...

Sure, Harvard and Yale probably don't have developmental
courses, but many four-year schools worried about retention
need to provide academic support to their incoming students.

Church, Paulette wrote:
> As is frequently an issue on many college campuses, our college is
> experiencing the need to significantly cut expenses.  Once again, I need
> to justify the role of our center and justify the cost of keeping it
> open.  We have been an AA degree granting private college, but we have
> added, and plan to add more, BA programs.
> I need your help to address the critical assumption made by one key
> individual, who opposes our continuance.  He stated that most colleges
> are closing their learning centers.  He maintains that "good colleges"
> don't need learning centers because they have only good students.  While
> he may be accurate, this isn't my perception.
> If you are at a BA degree granting institution, I would like to get a
> few pieces of information from you:
> Name of your college:
> How many years has your center been open:
> Is there a movement to close it?  If yes, why?
> Approximately how many students do you serve, in terms of any units of
> measure you use?
> Do you include tutoring services?
> What differences do you see occurring in terms of usage over the past
> 3-5 years?
> What are the other questions I should be asking?
> What are other trends of which I should be aware?
> Thank you so very much.
> Paulette Church
> Waldorf College
> Forest City, IA  50436

Stefanie H. Hunt
Assistant Director, Developmental Education
Towson University