What services does the Learning Center provide for Biola students?
In a nutshell: disability student services (academic accommodations), undergraduate tutoring, and the Strategies for Personal & Academic Success courses (GNST001).
How do academic accommodations work in relation to my class?
First, the student submits their documentation of disability to the Learning Center. Once reviewed, if appropriate documentation exists, academic accommodations are granted and implemented. Letters are then generated for each faculty member outlining appropriate accommodations for that particular student.
What accommodations are not:
- Accommodations are not intended to lessen academic rigor or alter the essential elements/academic integrity of your course. Students with disabilities are graded using the same rubric and overall grade structure. There should be no lower standard regarding academic caliber nor should your expectations of them be different than the general student population.
- An analogy that we like to use is that of a race. Some students have hurdles placed in their lane by no choice of their own. The role of accommodations is to remove the hurdles. The students still run the exact same course.
What types of accommodations will impact me as a professor?
The primary accommodations impacting faculty will be students receiving extended testing time and reduced distraction during exams. These exams are more often proctored by the Learning Center staff.
The student submits a Request for Proctoring to our office. Once we have processed the request, you will receive an email from the LC requesting approval. The information we need from you includes:
- How long is the class given for completion of the exam?
- When is the examination date?
- How will the exam get to the Learning Center (pick-up, email, housemail…)
- Email is strongly preferred so there are no “lost in the housemail” issues on the testing day.
Questions/conversations with faculty are always welcome to figure out the best plan per course and student.
I have noticed a student struggling in my class...What should I do?
If you are noticing academic struggles, don't instantly assume or project a learning disability. Rather, encourage them to explore the Learning Center and the variety of resources available here (e.g., tutoring, academic support classes, etc.). Through our discussion with them here, we should be able to gather a general sense of LD possibility and corresponding recommendation for testing (if necessary).
If the student discloses that their struggles are more on a personal or emotional/psychological level, there are several options. First, encourage the student to take advantage of the Biola Counseling Center and make an appointment with a staff member there. The Center also has drop-in hours available for more immediate access.
For students in or nearing crisis points, the Student Care Team may be able to offer intervention and guidance.
Does the Learning Center assist with writing or English language concerns?
No, typically our tutoring program does not include English concerns. The Writing Center exists for this purpose for the general student body. Specific assistance for English language learners can be obtained through the English Language Program.
Where do you get the tutors?
Our tutors are typically upper division undergraduate and graduate students here at Biola. Many apply for specific positions, while faculty have directly recommended others. If a student requests tutoring in a course that we do not have pre-arranged tutors ready to go, we then request referrals from the department faculty and recruit from that “pre-approved” pool.