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2016 Conference Sessions

Making Magic Happen Through Mentoring in a Learning Center

Learning Centers offer a variety of services to help students succeed. Last fall, FAU launched a donor-funded mentoring initiative with over 400 first-year and transfer students matched with 187 mentors. Learn about this innovative partnership between Academic and Student Affairs that has led to magical success stories across the university.

Florida Atlantic University

Jennifer Bebergal, Assistant Dean, Retention and Academic Support


Revealing the Value of Co-Located Tutoring/Writing Consultants and Reference Librarians

Studying the value of the library and tutoring/writing services to second-year students’ research and writing processes revealed large differences in the amount and type of available data. Adding in-depth interviews helped determine future steps needed for both units to move from mere co-location to working in true collaboration.

Rollins College

Suzanne Robertshaw, Tutoring and Writing Coordinator

Susan MontgomeryPublic Services Librarian, Associate Professor


Re-imagining the Academic Workshop: Five-Minute Magic

How do you meet the challenge getting students to attend academic workshops? Can you have fun doing it? This session will cover how we created five-minute workshops, two-minute tips, unique open houses, and other types of student support mechanisms which entertain students, engage their  attention, and foster independent thinking.

University of North Florida

Michele BoyetteCoordinator of Instructional Support

Melinda RojasCoordinator of Instructional Support


Tutor Training via Community Outreach Initiatives

When new undergraduate peer tutors lack the course material to work with students, earning hours toward tutor certification is difficult. Learn how one learning center created a 6-12 tutoring outreach program to help students and their families in the community while providing training opportunities for new peer tutors.

Florida Institute Technology

Veronica Giguere,Associate Director, Academic Support Center

Rodd NewcombeDirector, Academic Support Center, FIT


Stretching Budgets to Meet Expanding Needs

This session will describe how UF's Teaching Center uses supplemental instruction/group study sessions and video supplemental instruction to expand services to students without increasing costs. Participants will have the opportunity to share how they, too, are "performing magic" on their campuses as they "do more with less."

University of Florida

Winifred Cooke,Teaching Center Director
Robert Bailey III, Academic Support Services Coordinator


The Magic Behind Male Student Achievement

The Male Empowerment Network is an initiative at UCF that provides academic resources, mentorship opportunities, and student engagement activities on-campus to increase male retention and graduation rates.  We will discuss issues that impact the gender gap in Higher Education and strategies to increase the retention and graduation rates of males. 

University of Central Florida

Mark Gumble, Assistant Vice President

Andrew Quigley,Graduate Assistant


Personal Academic Consultations: Targeting Academic Concerns with Personalized Attention

Many students during their college career experience academic challenges. The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) at Florida State University provides free Personal Academic Consultations (PAC) to discuss academic concerns while learning specific skills and strategies. Using group activity and discussion, participants will learn to apply this model on their campus.

Florida State University

Dr. Courtney Barry, Interim Director, Tutoring Services

Dr. Patricia Golay, Teaching Faculty II

Holly Hunt, Teaching Faculty II

Todd Rakes, Teaching Faculty I

Contextualized Strategic Close Reading Instruction to Improve Underprepared Learners' Metacognition

Strategic reading is an active process. Underprepared students who learn in a contextualized environment begin to incorporate “strategic learning” in which they consciously use and evaluate various learning tactics to monitor their comprehension.  Such deliberate learning increases the students’ metacognition .   Effective strategies will be modeled during this interactive workshop.

Northwest Florida State College

Iris Strunc, Reading Professor/Coordinator of Academic Success Center

The Universal College Campus - Accessing Technology for All

For a long time accessible technology has been seen as a very specific accommodation for students who have additional needs due to disability. But what about those students who struggle academically but who have not connected with disability services? In reality, many students who would benefit from AT tools do not have access to it and are often not even aware it exists. A truly universal college campus will not only make learning accessible for disabled students, but also make AT accessible to all those who can benefit from it. In this presentation, the University of Central Florida (UCF) will discuss how they have managed to work with academic services and the athletic department on their latest project with universal learning tools: a literacy software suite called Read & Write and a software-base notetaking solution called Sonocent Audio Notetaker. They will discuss the core challenges of all students across campus and discuss how AT can be used with a wide body of students to overcome these challenges as well as to improve fundamental study skills. UCF will also present the findings and perspectives on their work with these learning tools, and discuss how the use of the software has helped students in many areas of the University. Providing both a student, educator and administrator perspective, this presentation will provide a holistic view of how AT can be critical to the long term success of a college.

University of Central Florida

Brad HeldAccessible Technology Coordinator


Encourage STEM Tutorship: Discussing How Collaborative Cross-Disciplinary Tutoring Practices Influence Student Success

Florida International University’s Center for Academic Success (CfAS) shares results from its tutoring/mentoring program called the Academic Success Plan (ASP). ASP is a semester-long program dedicated to the enrichment of students’ disciplinary literacy skills and content area knowledge in biology and/or chemistry. Presenters will discuss the constructs and results of the ASP program, the collaborations integral to its success, and considerations for future tutoring contexts of STEM-specific areas.

Florida International University

Vicenta Shepard, Reading & Learning Coordinator

Jocelyn Nardo, ASP Chemistry Tutor

Talia Kroner, ASP Chemistry Tutor, Florida International University

Michael Aguad, ASP Biology Tutor

Ramon Zardon, ASP Biology Tutor

Creating a Successful Group Tutoring or Supplemental Instruction Session by Using Games and Group Activities

See a live demonstration of 3-4 group activities and games used in group tutoring and Supplemental Instruction sessions, followed by discussion of each activity. Different ideas relevant to different subject areas will be addressed as well as do’s and don’ts for game and group implementation. 

University of Central Florida

Kristen Horton, Coordinator

Jessica Dorfman, SI Mentor


We Are Family: Fostering Student Success Through Collaboration at Florida A&M University

Recently, Florida A&M University repositioned its tutorial centers under one administrative unit, but they continue to operate in separate locations. This panel of learning center administrators will discuss how they collaborate to foster familial relationships among the centers, while still addressing the unique needs of their respective populations.

Florida A&M University

Dr. Veronica Yon, Director, Writing Resource Center

Monique ThomasAdministrative Assistant, Writing Resource Center

Lauren GregoryCoordinator of Academic Support Services, Writing Resource Center

Matthew GarvinMath Center Coordinator

Stephanie KimbroughStudy Center Coordinator

Abracadabra! Make Your Program Magical Through Training & Evaluation

This session will provide an overview of FAU’s comprehensive academic support training program designed for our Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders and tutors.  Various components from both SI and tutor training programs have been combined to provide the greatest learning experience and professional development to our academic support team members.

Florida Atlantic University

Ronald Johnson, Academic Support,

Sujinun "Ning" Ovathanasin, Assistant Director, Academic Support


Promotions, Public Relations & Play in the Learning Commons

When challenged to promote awareness and increase use of the St. Petersburg Seminole Learning Commons, staff went above and beyond the usual announcements in creativity and attempted new ventures from contests to social media. This review will cover how activities were chosen and how success was determined.

St. Petersburg College

Kathy BrysonInstructional Support Specialist

Thelma Wharton, Instructional Support Specialist 


Room for Growth: Opening New Spaces for Self-Directed Learning in Tutoring Centers

Implementing lecture style tutoring limits students' abilities to work collaboratively and engage in self-directed learning. Students become more active participants and take ownership of learning when whiteboards are placed on individual tables. Changing this format promotes a guided inquiry approach and shifts the student tutor relationship to a peer-peer model.

University of Florida

Kati Räsänen, Graduate Assistant & Coordinator for Chemistry Tutoring

Sergio Luya, Graduate Assistant for the SMAR Lab


Starting Smart with Learning Resources: SPC's New Student Orientation

We will discuss the results of presenting library and tutoring information to every first time in college student via St. Petersburg College's Smart Start program. This new college orientation provided us with unparalleled access to entering students at the most critical time to communicate our message. Will we see a rise in success rates for these students? Will they use library and tutoring services at a higher rate than in the past? The data collected on this cohort will show us these answers and more. Our planning and implementation for Smart Start included building our curriculum and a repository of tutorials, videos and assignments for use across the college. We will discuss curriculum and pedagogy, marketing and message, outreach, collaboration, feedback, and results.

St. Petersburg College

Jennifer Gregor, Library Program Director

Matthew Bodie, Associate Director Learning Resources


Fly Thru Finals: Moving the Tutor Lab to the Library

The NFCC Library and Academic Success Center partnered during final exams to offer extra final exam support and move all ASC/tutoring services to the library. This was used as a pilot program to examine the possibility of a permanent move of the ASC to the Library.

North Florida Community College

Lynn Wyche,Director of Learning Resources

Elizabeth Gonzales, Coordinator, Academic Success Center, North Florida Community College


Effective Tutoring Strategies: CRLA Training Through Campus Collaboration

The Student Learning Centers at Palm Beach State College ensure each tutor is trained through CRLA as part of our Program Outcomes by providing our tutors with various options to reach each Level, including joint-tutor training, faculty and district speakers, and a 10-week intensive course.

Palm Beach State College

Helena Zacharis, Manager, Palm Beach Gardens

Debra-Anne Singleton, Manager, Palm Beach State College

Barbie Edgar, Learning Specialist, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth

Mara Abrams, Learning Specialist, Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens

Roundtable Sessions

Tricks of the Trade: Mastering the Art of Working with Students on Academic Probation 

The Academic Coaching and Engagement (ACE) program is a retention initiative designed to facilitate a return to good academic standing among first year students placed on academic probation their first semester. This resulted in increased retention (9%) and decreased academic disqualification (13%) among the population based on the prior year.

University of Central Florida

Brandy Espinosa, Coordinator, Academic Support Services

Morgan McAfeeGraduate Teaching & Research Associate

Mark Gumble, Assistant Vice President


Study Union: Collaborating While Educating

In this session, Study Union: Collaborating While Educating, the presenter will provide an overview of the University of Central Florida’s Study Union event, focusing on the collaboration, program management, and assessment of the traditional event. The discussion will focus on the organization, planning, collaborating, and evaluation of the Study Union event.

University of Central Florida

Patricia Hartley, Coordinator


Read, Write & Cite: Building Students' Research, Reading & Writing Skills in 5 Weeks

Florida International University’s Center for Academic Success (CfAS) shares an intensive, 5-week program dedicated to the enrichment of students’ research, reading, and writing skills in STEM.  Instruction incorporates information literacy practices, content area reading strategies, and technical writing enrichment. Presenters will discuss the constructs of the Read, Write, and Cite program, as well as detail the collaborations integral to its success.

Florida International University

Vicenta Shepard, Reading & Learning Coordinator

Kyra Amador, Reading & Learning Tutor

Maydelin Jiminez, Reading & Learning Tutor

Federico Lastra, Reading & Learning Lead Tutor

Effective Tutor-Student Interaction Patterns to Facilitate Self-Directed Learning

Asking open-ended questions, using appropriate wait-time, and reflecting on interaction patterns are essential skills for tutors to promote self-directed learning.  This presentation will discuss how tutor training at the University of South Florida has emphasized tutors recording and reflecting on their tutoring sessions as a means to improving their interaction patterns.

University of South Florida

Mark Newton, Academic Services Administrator


Bridging the Gap: Virtual Workshops as Supplemental Instruction

In response to learning gaps identified in a group of ENC 1101 students, the Learning Commons at Tallahassee Community College introduced virtual grammar workshops using the Canvas LMS. These workshops were created in-house using existing staff and materials, providing supplemental learning support at no additional cost to the institution.

Tallahassee Community College

Rose Smith, Learning Specialist, Communications

Alicia Casey, Learning Specialist, Communications


Development of a Mathematics Tutoring Lab by a Faculty Assistant Coordinator

With the creation of the position of a Faculty Assistant Coordinator, the development of a mathematics tutoring lab was begun.  The Faculty Assistant Coordinator hires, trains, and evaluates mathematics tutors for the lab.  The lab serves students in all undergraduate mathematics courses and is designed as a walk-in tutoring lab.

Florida Gulf Coast University

Robert NicholsFaculty Assistant Coordinator

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