University Learning Center News

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Message from the Director

Greetings from the University Learning Center!

Each year we employ more than 100 students who work as peer educators (consultants, leaders, mentors, tutors and front-desk assistants). These students are always impressive. They are hard-working, innovative, and smart. More than that, though, they are some of the most giving (of their time, knowledge, and experience), energetic, and engaging people I know. I get to work with them daily – I see them in between their sessions, during tutor staff meetings, and at training workshops – and I am always impressed by their insight and dedication. Below we highlight a few of these students, as well as other information about ULC services. Please enjoy this newsletter and don’t hesitate to contact the ULC if you have any questions about our services.


William E. Wilkinson
Director, University Learning Center


syllabus 1

Faculty Syllabus Information for 2017-2018

Faculty support is also available in the form of ULC information for your Syllabus (PDF); printable handouts for Math, Study Skills, and Writing; and Academic Achievement Workshops available for classes and campus organizations.

Seahawk Snippets: Keep Calm and Tutor On

Winter UNCW magazine

The University Learning Center was featured in the Office of University Relations' Fall/Winter UNCW magazine, highlighting the increasing number of UNCW students serving as peer tutors in our center. They are impacting their fellow students by helping them to develop knowledge and skills for later success in all their coursework.

"Peer tutoring is collaborative, " said Will Wilkinson, director of the ULC. "One of the primary goals is to help students learn how to work cooperatively with others, which we know from our colleagues in the Career Center is one of the top skills employers look for."

"The demand for tutoring has increased as the level of support the center provides has increased. For the last several years, the ULC has supported more than 30 percent of the student body each year and, on average, we support 50 percent of first-year students," Wilkinson added.

"In addition to helping others tackle their academic work, peer tutors learn how to work with diverse populations and participate in training and research, written reflection and observation."

Like all Seahawks, these tutors do indeed rise - or rather, soar - by lifting others. - from Caroline Cropp, OUR writer


ULC hosts reception for recently certified CRLA tutors

F17 CRLA tutors 

Each fall and spring, our tutors put their own learning skills to the test and attend training, conduct research and complete a final project toward international certification in the College Reading and Learning Association program (CRLA). The University Learning Center administers this program, and certifies the tutors. A requirement of employment at the center, three progressive levels, Regular, Advanced, and Master, can be achieved. Photos here show our tutors presenting their Applied Learning and Research project posters in the Fisher University Union on December 1, 2017, after the annual Tutor Certification and Appreciation reception.

At our fall 2017 CRLA event, held in the Azalea Suites, tutors and faculty shared their observations of the various research topics, such as "Foreign Language & Testing Anxiety," and "Higher Level Mathematics in the Field of Chemistry."

Fall 17 group photo

Our Featured ULC Tutors

Nursing SI Leader/ Spanish tutor/Future Naval Nurse Officer: Julianna Umbehr

    Julianna Umbehr, tutor feature

Our tutors are often engaged with tutees on so many different levels, becoming active in more than one of our services at the ULC. We asked Julianna Umbehr to share some thoughts about her ULC experiences:

Julianna, what is your story, what brought you to UNCW, and why did you become a tutor at the ULC? 

I am 21, I am a Nursing major and a Spanish minor. I am from Connecticut. I came to UNCW to experience living in the south and at the beach, and I love to travel. I became a tutor at the ULC to share my passion for the Spanish language and to inspire others to learn and enjoy it too.

Do you have any tutoring experiences to share, that may illustrate how language tutoring can positively impact a student's success?

I had a music major student that learned so much about Spanish, improve greatly, and started playing Spanish music on guitar and comprehending the lyrics. He went on to take another Spanish class and came to me for tutoring again.

As a impending grad, what are your plans for the dream job in your future?

My plans for the future: I am currently in the Navy. Upon graduation I will become a Naval Nurse Officer, and I am going to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego for my first duty station. Eventually I want to pursue my Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Midwifery because I have a passion for Labor and Delivery. I am currently pursuing my certification as a Spanish Medical Interpreter which I will use in my practice.

Writing Consultant published in the Dangling Modifier: Ross Gormley

Ross Gormley

Creative Writing Department MFA candidate and ULC Writing Consultant, Ross Gormley, was recently published in the fall 2017 issue of Penn State's International Newsletter, The Dangling Modifier. In "The Dangers of Collaboration, and What Writing Tutors Can Learn From Keith Jarrett," he makes the case for the process of immersion when writing, and giving oneself over to the subconscious. Using the creative process observed in jazz and classical pianist, Keith Jarrett's performances, he discusses why he often has his students watch one of his music videos, to help teach the process of creativity.

Staff News

Math Coordinator Presents at National College Learning Center Association conference: Stefanie Anderson


Stefanie Anderson

Stefanie Anderson, ULC Math Services Coordinator, presented “It's Not What You Know, It's What You Say - A Verbal Communication Activity"” at the National College Learning Center Association annual conference in San Antonio, Texas in September 2017. Her presentation was a verbal communication activity that introduces tutors to communication skills that may impact student learning.  This exercise emphasizes the need for clear communication (e.g. using terms that the student understands) and helps tutors recognize their own communicative strengths and weaknesses.


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