Student Learning Support (SLS), a service that provides tutoring and accessibility help at five different areas on campus, will move to a new, centralized location.
It will occupy the fourth floor of the new Student Learning Centre (SLC) starting Feb. 23.
Right now, students can find the various services SLS offers at sites like the Victoria Building, Library Building, lower Podium, and others. The move to one location will make it easier for students to find and receive the help they need.
SLS helps students improve their study skills, provides writing support and organizes accommodation for students with accessibility needs.
“For students (the new location) means less confusion, less hassle,” says Christina Halliday, director of SLS.
Marianne Saavedra, a third-year hospitality and tourism management student, says the move may encourage more students to seek assistance.
“I think students don’t know where to go because the (services) are all over the place,” she says. “In my first year, I wanted to use the writing centre, but I didn’t know where it was.”
Saavedra added that the hours of operation were inconvenient and drop-ins didn’t work for her schedule. “So hopefully that will change,” she says.
According to Halliday, the number of students using SLS has increased in the past five years.
From May 2013 to April 2014, SLS had 31,000 face-to-face contacts with students, including 110 workshops, 888 group sessions and 14,000 individual appointments.
“We will be going into the building better able to accommodate the growth that has happened recently,” she says.
The new centre will also have a one-stop reception area to help students access these services, which doesn’t currently exist because services are spread out.
Halliday says the centralized reception will help students accurately decide what kind of support they need.
“In the past, when we were on five locations on campus, students had to say to themselves, ‘What kind of support do I need? I need this kind of support, I think I’ll go there.’ Sometimes it was the right choice, sometimes it was the wrong choice, and then we’d have to send them somewhere else,” she says.
The new space will also have “state-of-the-art presentation technology” and workshop classrooms, including a learning lounge, a math hub and a writing studio.
Halliday says that students will be able to write on the walls, which will be made out of whiteboards.
“The actual physical environment has been specifically constructed for optimum learning,” she says.
Halliday says that, starting Feb. 23, they will offer modified programming. This includes one-on-one and group help with writing, math and English language support.
The SLC offices will be open March 16.
“During that three weeks when we don’t have all of the full-time staff on the floor, we will be using the Podium lower ground area for students,” she says.
All of SLS’s current services will move to the fourth floor of the SLC, except the Test Centre, which assists students in acquiring accommodations during exams, or in scheduling make-up exams.
The centre is currently located in the Victoria Building.
By Anuba Thiagarajah
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on Jan. 28, 2015.