Academic & Leadership Center opens at Speed

June 1, 2018

On May 14th, the Academic & Leadership Center (ALC) softly launched in LL16 of the JB Speed Building. Working in partnership with REACH, the center offers tutoring five days a week with specific sessions for CEE 205, CECS 130, and CECS 220, as well as open tutoring sessions, with the goal to build more from there. The ALC is designed to employ the tutelage of REACH to engineering specific subject, while simultaneously offering opportunities for students to develop their leadership and networking abilities in a controlled environment.

“This will be the first center of its kind at an engineering school in the country as it incorporates both academic tutoring and leadership development,” said Interim Dean Gail DePuy. “We hope it will make Speed School attractive to both prospective students and help engage our current students.”

Research indicates not only the efficacy, but necessity of tutoring, and the ALC affords a new opportunity with students struggling with courses unique to engineering to feel welcome. A goal of the Speed school for several years, the long term objective of the project is not only to expand the tutoring opportunities, but the physical space into a more visible and comparably accessible location.

“We think this center is a nice add on to what students are already getting at the Speed School. What will be really unique on the tutoring aspect of it, is that we’ll hire tutors who will tutor for a specific major,” said Heidi Neal, Director of Student Success. “Reach does a really good job now of offering help for 100 and 200 level classes. They are the experts in training the tutors and understanding what makes for a good tutor.”

Studies involving retention for STEM students shows that assisting through academic work through tutoring, is really essential, as well as creating a sense of belonging.

"We’ve had this vision for a few years now for opening an academic and leadership center," Neal said. "But it’s the leadership piece that really makes it unique. When you talk to our students, community members, and employers, they look for more experience to leadership, how students play on a team."

Neal is motivated to grow the ALC and has aspirations to develop the leadership program. Following the Leadershape model for teaching leadership, Neal hopes to see multi-day programs for students focused on personal growth and ethical decision making that culminates in a certificate program. If possible, she hopes for that to include our alumni to help share their voices to mentor young adults and foster relationships.

“We want to bring in an alumni speaker series. We think there is nothing better than the alumni coming back and understanding our students,” says Neal. “Plus, our alumni are really fantastic.”

Session TypeMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
No Appt. Necessary
9 AM - 1 PM9 AM - 1 PM9 AM - 5 PM
CECS 130
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 5 PM9 AM - 5 PM9 AM - 5 PM
CECS 220
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 5 PMNoon - 5 PM1 PM - 5 PM1 PM - 5 PM
CECS 220
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 4 PM9 AM - Noon9 AM - 1 PM