One way to help your students improve their academic success in and beyond your classroom is to highlight resources available in the University Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). TLC offers academic support for all students, from the freshest of freshmen to seasoned transfer students, from strong and capable learners to those struggling simply to stay afloat.
“Fifty years ago, what was a small reading lab located in a temporary World War Two building on Agate Street has evolved into a comprehensive center located off the Memorial Quad. More than half of UO undergraduates use TLC resources to fill in gaps, build skills, and gain competencies and confidence as they prepare to meet the challenges that accompany a university education—and sometimes to ensure they’ll be competitive for graduate programs,” said Susan Lesyk, TLC’s founding director. “Students you refer here are in good company among their peers,” she added.
TLC offers a slate of credit-bearing courses and not-for-credit workshops on topics like test anxiety, study skills, time management, writing processes, and public speaking. Instructors of those courses are available on a drop-in basis to every student on campus.
Moreover, the Center runs peer Math and Writing Labs, which are a not-to-be-missed opportunity for students to teach and learn from one another in individual sessions.
TLC is home to comprehensive academic support, advising, and community-building programs including Pathway Oregon, Student Support Services (SSS), and McNair Scholars, which builds the diversity of the professoriate by helping high-achieving undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups work toward their goals of earning PhDs. TLC’s most recent addition is a new Health Professions Program, which links UO students who are future doctors, nurses, EMTs, public health officials, physical therapists—indeed, all aspiring health professionals—to specialized advising and enrichment opportunities.
The welcoming, individualized ethos of the TLC is “essential,” said Amy Nuetzman, TLC’s associate director. “Once students decide to connect with us, we want to make it immediately obvious they’re in the right place—that we want to know them. We don’t want them to have to wait long, we don’t want to offer support only in group settings—students should have the chance to have individual, timely conversations.”
Those individual consultations can be incredibly rich, even—and sometimes especially—for high-achieving students. “We want to make sure students walk way with a plan and at least one tool or concrete strategy,” said Nuetzman. “But the conversation often feels much larger—it becomes a chance for students to reposition themselves in a course.”
Her questions prompt students to articulate for themselves the course’s value, compelling issues, and relevance to their hopes and experiences. “I often hear, ‘I don’t know what’s important in the book or lecture,’—they’re tracking on ‘jewels’ that will show up on test day. They may not yet have the awareness that they can judge material and ideas”—that they can start to see not just what but why something is import to the professor, and to them.
TLC invites faculty to make sure their students know about these resources. Here’s how:
1. Invite a TLC faculty member to your class for a ten-minute presentation. Contact Jen Strong at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-346-3253 to schedule a visit.
2. Lead your students on a ‘Quick Tour’ of TLC services (PDF on the TLC website).
4. Request a PowerPoint slide to display while students are coming into class.
5. Request a written description or a PowerPoint slide to post on your course Blackboard site.
6. Make direct referrals for specific students. Your encouragement could make a big difference in a student’s life!
Want a universal strategy that will benefit all learners in your class? Inform your students about resources available through the University Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).
Click, call, or visit: http://tlc.uoregon.edu 541-346-3226 68 PLC