Published Dec. 3, 2013

Tutoring and Writing Center bustling at Mabee Library

students working at marker-board table in library

It’s hard not to notice all of the changes made recently at Mabee Library. Renovation means a bigger, dedicated space for the Tutoring and Writing Center, now on the third floor.

But did you know that renovation already is making a difference?

In a typical month in the former space about 300 students used the center, according to records kept by the Center for Student Success. In October, a month only partially spent in the new space, more than 700 students signed in for tutoring.

“It just blew me away,” said Ann Callies, director of the Center for Student Success. “It was a constant stream of people.”

She recognized some of the increase may have been because instructors were requiring students to have writing assignments reviewed in the center during midterms. But the much more likely reason: “There is actually space for them now.”

Prior to the renovation, the Tutoring and Writing Center was smaller than a classroom and had a few tables. Callies said it was common for a student to approach, see that the room was rather full and leave. Now, the openness of the third floor space is much more welcoming.

November’s results agree with her theory: 656 students received services during the first full month in the new space, Callies said.

The renovations at Mabee Library were designed to improve the services of the Center for Student Success. In addition to the expanded tutoring center, general academic advisors are now located on the main level of the library.

John Dhalstrand, assistant dean of student success and retention, who oversees the center, advising and the First Year Experience (FYE) program, said there is extensive focus on the success and retention of first year students, with WU 101 now a required course. But it doesn’t stop there.

“Tutoring is everybody. Advising is anyone undecided,” he said. “Come to the library and you can get everything.”

Dhalstrand and Callies agree that centralizing academic support services at the library is a positive move.

“I see the advisors walking students up to tutoring,” Callies said. “For me, it feels a lot more cohesive. I'm hoping the safety net has fewer holes.”

The Tutoring and Writing Center is open on its regular schedule for Success Week this week. Beginning on Sunday, Dec. 6, Mabee Library will be open continuously – 24 hours per day – throughout finals week. Don’t forget to check the final exam schedule as well.

If you are interested in working as a tutor for future semesters or as a First Year Experience peer educator next fall, apply online or get more information at Mabee Library.