The Wolak Learning Center, located in the library (Image courtesy: Emily Blais)

The Wolak Learning Center (WLC), located on the second floor of the Shapiro Library, is a peer tutoring service that offers academic support for students. It provides various services such as one-on-one tutoring (by request), embedded support, and 24/7 assistance via where selected courses are offered.

Hours of operation during the academic year are: Monday through Thursday from 9-7 p.m. and Friday 9-4:30 p.m.

Ashley Liadis, Director of the WLC, has been working in the office for a little over ten years, where she makes a difference in students’ lives, regardless of their goals.

“Whatever their goals might be; it could be to pass a class because they need to be at a C at least to be able to stay on and get the GPA that they need,” said Liadis.

The WLC works with different offices on campus, such as academic advising and the Wellness Center, especially if students need extra support. At the end of the day, the primary focus is on the students themselves.

“Sometimes the root cause isn’t necessarily tutoring, so sometimes it could be some mental health challenges that are preventing a student from not submitting a paper or continuously missing class,” said Liadis.

The WLC has drop-in hours, where students can come in a get support as they need, and where they might see a familiar face.

“When student [tutors] are enrolled in a class with [other] students and they say, ‘come see me outside of class’, there’s a much higher rate of when students actually go to drop-in tutoring for those courses than a student they never met before,” said Liadis.

The WLC relies on faculty, who recommend students that have excelled in their courses.

“It is more leverage for us to be able to hire a tutor that we feel would be confident and that the faculty members would also feel confident representing that material,” said Liadis.

This was the case for Graduate Assistant Steven Covey, who was a peer tutor during his undergrad years. Dr. Jeanne Hughes recommended the job to him, and he has been working in the office ever since.

Covey enjoys the environment of the office and being able to help students with their academic needs. He loves being able to make positive impacts on students. He recalls working with a student with a lower GPA whose grade went up after some time tutoring.

“I looked at his grades and he had all B’s. When I looked at it, I was like, ‘You’re doing great! What we’re doing is actually paying off and it’s working,'” said Covey. “Having conversations with him and seeing these meetings that I do actually carry over and do something.”

Peer educators can help students with things such as feedback on papers, review sessions, workshops, and retaking for success, a program that offers support for students who are retaking a course.

Liadis emphasized the importance of taking the first step in getting academic support at the WLC.

“However they feel comfortable making the first outreach, whether it’s through email, walking through a door, having a friend bring them, whatever it is,” said Liadis, “Take the first step and we will take you the rest of the way.”

The Wolak Learning Center will be holding its last scholarship essay writing workshop on March 12 at 3:30. Students can register here: Students can also check out the drop-in tutoring hours here: