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Image: Seated (l-r) are Writing Center Director Libby Miles; Ren Sharma, graduate student; Noelia Gonzalez, freshman.

Standing (l-r) are Kandice Salomone, associate dean of University College; Marlene Moore, a freshman; Alix Moffatt, interim coordinator of the center, Jayne Richmond, dean of University College; and M. Beverly Swan, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI creates Academic Enhancement
Center for student success

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 29, 2003 --The University of Rhode Island has rolled out a brightly-colored speckled carpet this month to welcome all students to its new Academic Enhancement Center, located on the spruced up fourth floor of Roosevelt Hall. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Students who find astronomy over their heads, math problems that don’t add up, or suffer from writer’s block, or who puzzle over other subjects can receive help either by appointment or on a walk-in basis. And in a tight economy it’s important to point out that there is no additional fee for the assistance unlike many other colleges and universities.

"This is a retention strategy," explains Jayne Richmond, dean of University College who heads the effort. "We’re taking a proactive approach by bringing together all our resources and strengthening them to show that we are committed to the academic success of students in all majors."

The new center integrates the work of the existing Writing Center, which provides help for students from any discipline, with any writing ability, at any stage of their writing projects -- from the day the assignment is handed out through several stages of revisions. The center also incorporates the work of the existing Learning Assistance Network, which provides one-on-one tutoring.

In addition, the center provides additional academic support services including study groups and supplemental instruction. Workshops on a variety of topics including time management, reading and memory techniques, or how to find your way around the library, will be offered throughout the semester.

Homework tables provide elbow room and vending machines can satisfy hunger pangs. Computer stations are set up in one of the center’s nine rooms. An elevator provides easy access for students with disabilities.

Richmond envisions the center as a place for students to work with other students. Although the center is primarily for students seeking academic help, it also serves students interested in helping others. High-achieving students willing to serve as individual tutors or study group leaders are being recruited, especially those majoring in chemistry, physics, biology, math, and economics. Each tutor and study group leader must attend a training session and has the option to receive course credit or pay for their work.

Alexandra "Alix" Moffatt, an attorney who is on leave from her graduate studies in college student personnel, is the center’s interim coordinator. She sees the center as a place to celebrate the diversity of students’ experiences, academically and personally.

Moffatt says the faculty members are an important component of the center, since they work closely with students. She is seeking their input on what they have tried, and what has worked to help students succeed.

In addition to the Center, University College continues to offer a variety of programs for student success under the Roosevelt Hall roof: academic advising, Rhode Assist --a retention and transition advocate-- peer mentors, and PASS -- Program Academy for Skill and Success-- which provides a lifeline to students who feel over their heads.

The Academic Enhancement Center already has an established satellite office in Mackal Field House, which provides student-athletes with a study hall and the Rhody Ram Computer Lab.

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Copyright © 2001 University of Rhode Island. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Page last revised Wednesday, October 8, 2003 .