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Learning Support Services Ready to Help This Fall

September 21, 2020

A female student smiling and holding a calculator in a libraryAs with many entities, Learning Support Services may operate a little differently now, but the commitment to support students’ goals is as strong as ever.

The key change compared with the past, of course, is that for the most part services will be handled remotely through appointments, with some remote drop-in opportunities available as well.

Learning Support Services (LSS), like other departments across campus, had to quickly pivot during the spring to serve students as all in-person instruction moved to distance learning formats.

“We were able to have all of our services available within one week,” said Sharon Christian, Assistant Director of Learning Support Services. “We had already started training staff on remote services and offering remote services to students before the changeover.

“We started piloting remote programs as early as the Winter 2019 semester, so we were able to quickly transition and scale all services to meet remote learning needs.”

The sudden change from in-person to remote learning was jarring for some students. To help, the LSS team introduced Remote Learning Mentors to ease the transition, with time management a key focus.

“Learning from home can create some challenges in terms of distractions and scheduling, so we worked with students on using their Google calendar, for example, to help them schedule better,” Christian said. “Stress management was provided as well.”

Because of today’s realities, the LSS team, which consists of about 40 to 50 student employees and about 28 staffers, now relies more heavily on solutions, including Zoom and webinars, that may have been unfamiliar a few months ago.

“We really want to encourage the students to use the technology,” said Melissa Schultz, Associate Dean of Retention and Student Success. “It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but we are here to walk them through it and answer any questions. We want them to know they are not alone or need to face this alone.”

This fall also will see the return of face-to-face appointments on a highly limited basis.

“We want to be able to offer multiple options to meet the various needs of our students,” Schultz said. “We want students to know we have the same quantity and quality of service we’ve had traditionally.”

Here’s a snapshot of Learning Support Services for the Fall 2020 semester:

  • Remote drop-in tutoring and writing support will be available via Blackboard Collaborate. 
  • By-appointment tutoring, Writing Support and Academic Success Coaching (ASC) available.
  • Curb-side, by-appointment pickup available for library resources.
  • Academic Success Coaching is offered via Zoom sessions and phone calls.
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) will be offered remotely for select sections. Learn more about PAL here.
  • International Learning Support is remote via Zoom sessions.
  • Librarian services for research and other academic support by appointment and remotely.
  • Remote Learning Mentors will be available by remote appointments. To make an appointment, please email

For more information, please visit, email or call 734-462-4436.