My answers are below with your questions.  Good luck!


>>> "Church, Paulette" <[log in to unmask]> 11/09 1:16 PM >>>
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:  Mount Union College

How many years has your center been open:  13 years

Is there a movement to close it?  If yes, why?  No--it's expanding; we just hired an additional  time staff member.

Approximately how many students do you serve, in terms of any units of
measure you use?  Usually about  of the first-year students, plus smaller percentages of upperclassmen use the ASC each year.  That amounts to about 300 first-year students and at least 200 additional students over the other three classes.  In terms of contacts, we probably average about 1500 per year.

Do you include tutoring services?  Yes, in the form of study groups facilitated by peer LAs (learning assistants).  LAs are also available for one-on-one tutoring if a student requests it.

What differences do you see occurring in terms of usage over the past
3-5 years?  Initially, use of the ASC grew enormously, but we seem to have reached a plateau for now.

What are the other questions I should be asking?
College size: just under 2000 and growing.

Your critic is probably correct insofar as bringing in better students tends to lead to somewhat better retention rates, but many very competitive colleges have learning centers and/or tutoring--Oberlin College and Harvard being cases in point.

What are other trends of which I should be aware?

Thank you so very much.

Paulette Church
Waldorf College
Forest City, IA  50436

Rosemary Bienz
Director, ASC
Mount Union College
Alliance, OH  44601

Phone:  (330) 823-3146
Fax:       (330) 829-8737
E-mail:    [log in to unmask]