Tons of resources, one location: Check out the Learning Commons

The Concordia Courier

Learning Commons

By Leonard Memon | 9/23/2022

The Learning Commons, which is located on the first floor of the Schroeder Library, is a place where students can easily navigate the numerous resources that are available to them.

Learning Commons resources include the Welcome Center, Writing Studio, academic advising, career development, academic coaching, the Unity Center and disability services.

Mariah Lucas, Director of Career Development and Vocation said, “It is in a student's best interest to visit the Career Center because the Career Center is more than just an office that can help with finding an on-campus job. Career coaching and preparation are tailored to each student's interests and needs.” She added, “Our staff will meet students where they are at and help students discover what their next step is.”

English Professor Kristen Schmidt, who also serves as Director of the Writing Studio, encouraged students to visit the Writing Studio for insightful conversations at any stage of their writing process. Schmidt said, “Writers need readers to know if they are communicating clearly -- and it's best to get that feedback before it lands on the desk of a professor or an employer! Writing consultants don't assign papers and we won't grade them -- rather, we provide idea-rich conversations about writing that will move it forward.”

The Writing Studio also focuses on the writer themselves. According to Kirstie Skogerboe, Assistant Director of the Writing Studio and academic coaching, some of the questions that writers should ask themselves are: What's hard to understand? Which arguments are strongest? What sounds awkward? What sounds beautiful? What's the purpose of this sentence? “Talking through questions like these makes a writer think not just about the paper, but about the art of putting words together to make meaning,” Skogerboe said.

Laura Courvoisier, Associate Dean of Student Development, said, “There are a variety of great reasons to visit an academic advisor, but the top reason tends to be class schedules. This can include adding or dropping classes, or planning for classes for the upcoming semester. All students need to meet with their academic advisor during advising season to review their plans for classes for the upcoming semester and receive an alternate pin which is required to be able to register for classes.”

Resources like career development, academic advising, and the Writing Studio are easily accessible to students seeking academic help. Christiana Patton, a Student Success Center Student Worker who worked in the previous academic advising center said, “The advising office is now in a better, more convenient location where it is surrounded by all things student-focused. I can easily guide students to the student services they are looking for such as the library, Writing Studio, printers and tutoring services.”

Lucas noted, “The Learning Commons has made the Career Center more accessible to students. Being closely connected with academic advising, Disability Access Services, academic coaching and the Unity Center allows me to serve students efficiently and be able to quickly refer them to other resources that will aid in their success.”

Schmidt remarked, “The Writing Studio and Tutoring Services are located in one large space on the top floor of the Schroeder Library and Learning Commons. That makes those resources easy to find and accessible to both resident and commuter students, as well as faculty and staff.”

Courvoisier also found that, “On a personal level, I love seeing students more often than we did in our old building. Now I get to run into them and say hi when they are studying or hanging out in the Learning Commons.”

The new Learning Commons is also more spacious. Patton said, “The space is so much bigger and more inclusive than it was before.” She added, “I also really like how bright and open the advising office and commons are now.”

Skogerboe added, “Our new space also has a wall of windows overlooking the jacaranda trees on the Alumni Plaza; I think exposure to natural beauty can help students feel more at ease and enjoy being in the space. That's true for me, at least!”

Visit the Learning Commons to meet with students and staff who are eager to aid you on your academic journey!



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