Resource Center business is booming

October 28, 2013
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The Business Learning Resource Center is experiencing an influx of eager initiates this semester.

Established in 2011 to give supplementary assistance for students who need help, especially in business communications, the Center moved to the College of Business and Economics building’s third floor from smaller accommodations on the second floor. This and the 2012 addition of subject-area help for students, said Center Director Elizabeth Tomlinson, have caused more and more students to visit the new location.

“The move up to the third floor has been a great benefit,” she said. “We are more visible now, and there is much more traffic.”

Additionally, beginning this semester, all freshmen have been required to use the Center, or any other learning center on campus, for at least three hours each week. Last spring semester, before the requirement, the Center logged 1,700 visits; this semester, with the three-hour requirement, the Center has seen 1,300 student visitors, and the semester is only half over.

“Students are beginning to find out about the Center,” Tomlinson said. “They are telling their classmates, and there is definitely a lot of word-of-mouth about us that has resulted in more visitors.”

When the Center first opened the emphasis was on business communications. Since then graduate student tutors have been recruited to help other students with their studies in subject areas. Last spring 20 tutors assisted at the Center. This semester 25 tutors are on hand to help their fellow B&E students, and tutoring in management information systems and techniques for business research have been added.

Dr. Tomlinson said the tutors “provide a support system.”

“We don’t do students’ work for them,” she commented. “We try to help them with their study skills and with the big picture. We aren’t a crutch; rather we see ourselves as facilitators who help students learn strategies they can apply in new learning situations.”

The Center does not provide proofreading or editing, she said. During communication consultations, the goal is to teach students how to do their own proofreading and editing so that they can apply what they have learned to all their assignments.

Communications staff at the Center will help with brainstorming, research, writing, revising, creation of citations and reference pages, and practice presentations, among others.

“One of the most important things we can give students is feedback,” Tomlinson said. “It’s useful to students to try out drafts of their work on us to find out what works and what doesn’t and how they can improve their drafts.”

Tomlinson is also an assistant professor of marketing. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at The College of Wooster; a master's degree in English, with a concentration in rhetoric and composition, at John Carroll University; and a Ph.D. in English within the literacy, rhetoric, and social practice concentration at Kent State University. Before coming to WVU, Tomlinson served as a teaching fellow at Kent State and as assistant writing program coordinator there.