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The great variation in our programs is further reflected by the
administrative and organizational models of our programs. It is my
impression that some of the organizational patterns have historical roots.
As mentioned, programs such as my own in Student Affairs began as part of a
counseling center.  In our case, counseling consisted of personal
counseling, career development and learning skills.  Our learning center
grew to the extent that several years ago it became it own separate entity
in student affairs.

When the Pitt LSC was being formed in the early 70's, we looked at learning
center models at similar institutions to the University of Pittsburgh,
i.e., research-based universities.  At that time, we found that those
universities that had learning centers housed them in student affairs.
Academic units in universities at that time were very reluctant to support
learning services because there was concern that this would diminish the
reputation of the school's academic program.  No one wanted to acknowledge
that students admitted selectively could use assistance with learning.
However,  if the program was housed in student affairs as part of a support
service,  then there was less reluctance to provide learning services for
students.

Our counseling center operates from a model that it serves all students and
so our learning center has always functioned likewise.  From the beginning
we worked with everyone from freshmen through grad  and professional school
students.  We quickly became well connected with the academic units because
of our effort to provide course-based support services similar to SI.  Our
adoption of SI in recent years has further tightened our connections with
the academic areas of the university.

In recent years, I've seen student affairs programs restructure under
academic units.  I consider this evidence of more institutional acceptance
of the importance and legitimacy of what our programs have to offer.  In
our case, we are still in student affairs where we have had greater
adminstrative continuity than has been the case in the academic areas.
I've always felt this stability was a great asset to our program.  But in
the future, I will not be surprised when and if we find ourselves
reorganized under an academic unit.

Georgine Materniak
University of Pittsburgh
Learning Skills Center
311 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA  15260