an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

Helping Students Succeed

One of my personal theories of learning is that a person cannot teach something to another, they can only teach themselves. This does not diminish the effectiveness of a good teacher; creating the learning environment, asking right questions, and providing structured information are the sort of things good teachers do. The focus in higher education these days is on the “learner” and more specifically, the success of the learner. Increasingly colleges are being required to document the learning success of their students.

A former college professor, and major mentor of mine once told me that, if you can read, you can learn to do anything. While I believe this is generally true, in varying degrees most of us need a little help to learn – at least in some areas.

At SVCC we have a wide range of courses at varying levels of difficulty taught by dedicated faculty who are passionate about the success of their student learners. Although our faculty go the extra distance to help their students, sometimes some additional assistance helps. The college has a number of mechanisms to help students succeed, but one of the most effective and widely used is the Learning Assistance Center (LAC). The goal of the LAC is to meet the academic needs of students by supplementing their classroom instruction with tutoring and instructional materials.

Last fall more than 900 students received services in the LAC from a team of permanent part-time employee tutors, student tutors, community volunteers and faculty who volunteer time in the LAC. The permanent college employees deserve the recognition of being mentioned by name: Bridget Burren, Judy Cogdall, Jeanne Fuger, Tom Hamilton, and Taylor Jiminez. These individuals make a tremendous difference in the success of our students.

The center is run by a 19 year veteran college employee, Jane Verbout. Not only does Jane do an excellent job, she always has a smile and words of encouragement. Her dedication and enthusiasm is infectious and her commitment to learning applies to herself as she continues her formal education training.

The LAC is a happy, relaxing place always buzzing with positive energy. Students do not need appointments and can stop in anytime the center is open. Many students enjoy being there just to study even if they are not in need of help from the tutors. Stop by and visit; if you have some strength in an academic area and some extra time, you may wish to volunteer your skills to help others. There is a great deal of excitement seeing that light bulb turn on.