In the spring of 2008, the USF Office of the Provost approved a proposal to consolidate many academic support entities on the USF campus, integrate them into the Library system, and create a Learning Commons. The overall goal was to optimize learning support services as integrated, seamless opportunities for all students to learn and to meet the criteria for success. Prior to this change, academic success programs and services at USF were decentralized and lacking an integrated organizational structure, resulting in either redundancy of services and/or service gaps, as well as problems informing students of available resources.
The Learning Commons project included the establishment of a centralized, comprehensive student learning support department called Tutoring and Learning Services or TLS, reporting to the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The new department was formed based on the consolidation of five decentralized academic support entities on campus, and by the second year, three additional centers were added. Currently the center offers a range of different options for subject-specific tutoring, a comprehensive Writing Center, and other learning support services in the form of workshops, courses for credit, and specialized program support for several student cohorts ranging from first-year access programs to graduate students.
- Recruit, hire, train, support, and retain qualified students as tutors
- Assist students to become confident, self-directed, life-long learners
- Offer a variety of learning support options
- Represent an active concern for students’ academic well-being
- Create an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust for students
- Provide students with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information and referrals
- Continually review policies and practices to ensure that students are appropriately served
- Maintain an inviting, helpful, and approachable manner
- Make every effort to turn each situation into learning experiences for tutors, student- employees, and students
- Refer students as necessary to appropriate university resources for the purpose of enhancing their educational experience