EAP Faculty Spotlight: Summer Wheeler - Director of the Learning Center
For anyone who has been a college student, there may have been that one problematic class that kept them up at night. Maybe it was math, writing, science, business, history, but during those difficult times we needed a place to help us along our path to understanding the material. Thankfully at LUJ, there's Summer Wheeler and The Learning Center.
Ms. Wheeler has experience teaching in both LUJ's EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and Undergraduate program, so she has a nuanced understanding of what LUJ students are going through.
In this month's Faculty Spotlight, we learn a bit more about The Learning Center, the LUJ library, and how Ms. Wheeler handled classes when she was a college student.
1) What would you say are some of the advantages for students using The Learning Center?
There are several. One of the greatest advantages is the personalized help students can receive from tutors. Tutors can break down difficult concepts and explain them until the student clearly understands. With greater understanding, students feel more confident in their courses.
Another advantage is that the tutors are available to give advice on time management and other subjects that are important but not directly related to the courses offered at LUJ. Sometimes, students stop by for a quick conversation to feel more motivated in their studies.
2) How are tutors selected, and what are the benefits for becoming one?
Selected tutors have demonstrated strong academic performance and have received As and ABs in the subjects that they tutor; many of them are also recommended by their professors. Those selected to be tutors are not only qualified to tutor several classes but also have strong communication skills. Tutors must learn to explain various topics in ways that students can easily understand, and this benefits tutors by further improving their communication and interpersonal skills.
Additionally, having tutoring experience listed on a resume is advantageous because it shows their ability to work with others and manage their time well. A final benefit, and one that is often mentioned by tutors, is simply that it feels good to help their peers feel more confident in their studies.
3) Which subjects would you say students come for help the most?
Each semester is different, but every semester, undergraduate students come in to receive tutoring for Composition I & II. Many EAP students also come for English conversation practice and TOEFL study help.
4) During your own college experience, which subjects did you excel at, and which ones gave you some trouble?
When I was in college, I can't exactly say I excelled in any subjects, but I enjoyed many of the political science and anthropology classes, and although I was not a great writer, one of my favorite professors was the writing professor. The classes that were the most difficult for me were the ones with heavy academic reading. The transition from high school reading to dense research papers and historical texts was not easy. I struggled to first of all understand the hundreds of pages of readings, but then to have to form my own opinion and write about what I only half understood was challenging.
5) In addition to the Learning Center, the LUJ Library has many resources. Could you let us know what's currently available to students?
The LUJ library has many different sources currently available to students. There are encyclopedias, novels, and non-fiction books as well as several magazines and newspapers for students who are interested in keeping up with current events. Students have access to computers and a printer in the library, both of which are free for students to use whenever the campus is open. One of the resources students will probably find most useful will be Lakeland University's online databases such as Sage Journals and ProQuest. This is where students should go when instructors ask them to find scholarly articles.
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