The National College Learning Center Association announced the publication of a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, The Learning Assistance Review responding to COVID-19. Learning center leaders and professionals from every corner of the United States contributed to this vital collection of essays about higher education’s response to the novel coronavirus, including two from Naugatuck Valley Community College: Rob Sheftel, Director of Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and Aimee Tiu-Wu, Associate Director of the ACE at NVCC.
In March of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis affected higher education and changed how learning centers operated, forcing leaders to develop new ways to reach students and support their college communities. The coronavirus continued to challenge them during the summer and fall semesters. Rising to the Challenge: Navigating COVID-19 as Higher Education Learning Center Leaders shares the stories of how forty-eight learning centers addressed the fluid situation to serve their students. In their chapter, “The Rapid Shift of ACE from On-ground Tutoring and Modified Supplemental Instruction (mSI) to full Remote Tutoring and Support,” Sheftel and Tiu-Wu explain how the sudden pivot from on-ground to virtual learning forced them to rethink how they delivered tutoring and academic support to students.
Using the Microsoft Teams platform, the duo created an NVCC ACE Tutoring Channel that included their own how-to videos to offer asynchronous tutor training. Sheftel emphasizes that “in spite of not being face-to-face with our students, we have remained steadfast in our mission that distance should neither distract nor hinder us from providing quality academic support to our students.” Agreeing with him, Tiu-Wu reflects that “this shift was a growth opportunity for all of us and ended up being a real team-builder among the tutors and staff.” An overwhelming 85% of students reported that they were “very satisfied” with NVCC’s virtual tutoring.
Michael Frizell, Director of Student Learning Services at Missouri State University, is the collection’s editor. He is also chair of NCLCA’s council of past presidents and vice-president-elect of the organization. He has served as editor of The Learning Assistance Review since 2012.
The special issue focusing on COVID-19 is free to members of NCLCA and will be available on Amazon for $64.95 starting October 1, 2020.
The National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) is an organization of professionals dedicated to promoting excellence among learning center personnel. A community that works and supports learning center leaders across the world, NCLCA welcomes any individual interested in assisting college and university students along the road to academic success. Focusing on the leadership of learning centers in higher education, NCLA offers a popular annual conference and institute, frequent webinars, newsletter, a podcast, and the journal, now in its 25th year.
The mission of NCLCA is to support learning assistance professionals as they develop and maintain learning centers, programs, and services to enhance student learning at the post-secondary level.
This support includes:
• promoting professional standards in administration and management, program and curriculum design, evaluation, and research.
• acting on learning assistance issues at local, regional, and national levels.
• assisting in the creation of new and enhancement of existing learning centers and programs.
• providing opportunities for professional development, networking, and idea exchange through conferences, workshops, institutes, and publications.
• coordinating efforts with related professional associations.
•offering forums for celebrating and respecting the profession.
Please visit http://nclca.wildapricot.org for more information.