Learning and Academic Support Centre | Department of Chemical Engineering

Learning and Academic Support Centre

The mission of the Learning and Academic Support Center (LASC) will be to assist University students in developing the skills and strategies they need to become confident, independent and active learners. The LASC will aim to help students meet the challenge of SNU’s rigorous academic standards, to guide students in their adjustment to the University’s learning environment, and to prepare them for a lifetime of self-sufficient learning.

SNU has a distinct approach to the undergraduate curriculum, with an emphasis on classroom based pedagogy and assessment, and on independent research and project-based assignments. As the primary academic support service for students at SNU, the LASC will assist students in transitioning to the SNU “way”; navigating its academic terrain; creating networks of resources; and achieving academic, personal and professional goals.

The LASC will provide students a learning environment and experience that differs from the classroom: it will focus on high-quality individual and small-group student-centered and student-lead learning. The University believes that all students can benefit from targeted review and additional academic support that seeks to combine an understanding of individual learning styles with peer-to-peer mentoring and teaching. We believe that all students need support that extends beyond the classroom to reinforce and amplify daily lessons. Research shows that students who engage in tutoring, attend study groups, and participate in skill-building workshops achieve higher grades than those who do not. The LASC’s academic support services will be based on the principle that quality learning takes place when peers work collaboratively to develop knowledge and build skills. The Center’s tutoring staff will provide instructional approaches that are tailored to the skill levels and learning styles of students and will encourage students to take responsibility for learning and their academic success.

LASC Services

1) Subject Tutoring: LASC will provide subject-specific tutoring for most University courses. Qualified graduate students and high-achieving senior undergraduates will work with students on a one-on-one (or small group) basis and support them in achieving their academic goals for specific courses. Tutors will focus on tutoring practices that integrate what to study with how to study, thereby fostering independent learning and developing skills that will transfer to other courses.

2) Supplemental Instruction: Supplemental instruction will involve a series of peer-led group review sessions designed to help students succeed in historically difficult courses. The list of such courses will be developed by the LASC and may change over time as we continue to track academic performance over the next few years. Academically gifted students enrolled in these courses will volunteer as SI leaders for the course. In the SI sessions, the SI leader will facilitate students as they collaborate on reviewing lecture notes, discussing textbook reading assignments and reviewing for tests/exams. SI leaders will attend class regularly, will take class notes diligently, will be available as an academic resource to other students, and will provide updates to faculty on how the class is responding to the lectures, course materials, labs, etc.

3) Study Skills: In keeping with the LASCs mission to foster independent learning and transferable skills, graduate students and senior undergraduates will serve as Study Skills tutors. Their mission will be to provide information and resources for students seeking to strengthen their academic and organizational skills including time management, study strategies, research strategies, etc.

4) Writing Support: Many students entering SNU have difficulty with writing assignments such as term-papers and shorter assignments. Writing support tutors will provide feedback on written assignments to students to help them develop and improve their writing skills. Writing support services will not just be remedial but will be available for any student who wants to improve his/her writing abilities. Writing support services will be provided by graduate and senior undergraduates who are excellent writers, as well as SNU faculty or professional writing instructors who may be hired by LASC on short-term contracts from time to time. Writing support services will remain a part of LASC until SNU establishes an independent Writing Center.