Redefining the Classroom

Title III Strengthening Institution Grant

Strategies: Student Learning Commons (SLC)

LSSU struggles to engage new students as evidenced by the low percentage of freshmen students who actively participate in the Student First program. LSSU intends to broaden and facilitate access to active support services by establishing a SLC. Recognizing that a SLC can enhance learning and provide an environment for students that is both academic and social, LSSU will increase the opportunity for new students to become engaged with their learning.

A mentor coordinator will hire, train and supervise a team of peer mentors who will work with new students as they transition to LSSU. Our experience with the Student First program indicates that new students respond positively to peer support. As described above, the mentor coordinator will collaborate with the Advising Retention & Orientation office to further strengthen student engagement.

Another component of the SLC will be to provide learning spaces that accommodate student groups and encourage active participation in learning. These spaces will be equipped with technologies that enhance student learning and extend it beyond the classroom. The SLC will provide support to students and collaborating with faculty to ensure appropriate support of classroom activities. Through the Faculty Center for Teaching (FCT), faculty members will be encouraged to promote to their students the use of this space and this technology for outside of class learning (such as "Learn Before Lecture" or for more effective project-based learning). The Learning Center's tutoring, supplemental instruction and structured learning assistance programs will be enhanced by the availability of this space, this technology and the very concept of a SLC for students.