Department: Student Advising Center

Enhanced services aimed at students’ success

August 26, 2015

Emporia State students looking for some extra help with their class work need look no further than ACES in White Library.

Located on the library’s second floor, ACES — Academic Center for Excellence and Success — offers tutoring in biology, chemistry, psychology and writing and an English Language Learner lab. The new center grew out of talks during development of the campus master plan.

“We wanted to offer more tutoring resources throughout campus,” explained Dr. Shelly Gehrke, assistant vice president for academic success. “A central location in the library is more user friendly and accessible for students.”

The library has already seen success with turning its first floor into a learning commons that is open 24/7. More students are using the library and looking to it as a great place to work on assignments individually or in groups away from where they live, which can reduce distractions.

“We knew students were coming to the learning commons, maybe hanging out with their friends,” said Gehrke. “Now, when they realize they need help with an assignment, they can go upstairs to the tutors.”

ACES won’t be open 24/7, but it will be open during regular library hours — 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

The hours that tutoring is available depends on the schedules of the students hired as tutors, Gehrke said. The goal is to offer much of the tutoring in afternoons and evenings as well as Sundays because she knows those are the times students use for studying.

“Right now our focus in on first-year students and anyone enrolled in general education courses,” Gehrke said. “The space can also promote group study in the library for upper-division students.”

Like other learning spaces on campus, ACES will have furniture that aids studying. Tables can be pushed together for groups. Low tables and high tables are in the space, and some chairs have individual tables that pull out to hold books, laptops or tablets. A separate space is designed to be used for group review with a white board and seating options in a semicircle.

Although ACES is just opening this semester, plans for the future are already happening.

“We already are discussing what services could be added for the future,” Gehrke said.

Plans include partnering with librarians to show students all the ways in which librarians can be used, beyond looking up books and finding them on shelves.”

“It’s all about helping our students be their most successful,” Gehrke said. “Research shows that students who simply set foot in the library are more likely to graduate, and first-generation college students who have access to academic resources are more successful.

“We want these services to be as easy to access as possible.”

For more information about ACES, contact the Student Advising Center, 106 Plumb Hall, at 620-341-5421.