Strategic Plan 2021-2024

Academic Enhancement Center Mission

The mission of the Academic Enhancement Center is to help students invest in their own academic success.  Our learning support programs and services empower students to become more skillful and successful. We are committed to providing support that is responsive to students’ needs, and dedicated to enhancing their capacity for learning and applying knowledge.  We offer a range of learning support to all undergraduate students and some graduate students, helping with the development of metacognitive strategies and skills, critical thinking, writing, time management, and test taking skills. Our peer-to-peer services enable us to support the development of collaborative learning skills while supporting teaching and leadership skills for student staff.  

The AEC offers three unique programs including tutoring in STEM disciplines, Academic Skills Development programming including UCS160, and the Writing Center.  We also work with our academic departmental partners, student organizations, and teaching and learning service providers to enhance and expand campus-wide learning support efforts. The AEC strives to create equitable support programming, targeting support to historically underrepresented or academically underserved student populations.

Goal One: Enhance Student Success

Strategy 1: Enhance cross-campus collaboration and peer learning support to expand support in STEM courses.

Action: Continue to develop, expand and invest in appointment based tutoring, leveraging and expanding technological support whenever possible.

Action: Utilize Survey Trac technology to obtain timely feedback on tutorial experiences to improve services and guide tutor training topics.

Action: Expand services in response to increased demand whenever possible.

Strategy 2: Diversify access to opportunities for timely development of college-level learning strategies and skills, metacognitive skills, and planning skills.

Action: Expand availability of UCS 160 to include J-term, online versions, and half-semester sessions to improve student participation, access and just-in-time options.

Action: Offer workshops on relevant study skills topics to courses, groups and organizations.

Action: Organize and facilitate access to vetted web-based resources designed to guide students in self selected learning.

Action: Create academic skills related curricular activities for URI 101.

Action: Collaborate with faculty and others to form student group-specific UCS 160 courses and modified UCS 160 when appropriate.

Strategy 3: Enhance opportunities to support development of writing skills.

Action: Analyze utilization of Writing Center services during fall, spring, J-term and the summer sessions.

Action: Collaborate with Writing Across URI, OATL, academic departments, and interested faculty to support “writing across the curriculum” initiatives such as a Writing Fellows program and National Day on Writing at URI.

Strategy 4: Create academic support resource and referral hub for non-AEC tutoring to help match students in need with available help and offer resources to student support providers.

Action: Survey academic departments each year to assess student support needs and tutor training in the Fundamentals of Tutor Training.

Action: Post non- AEC departmental support scheduling information on the AEC web page each semester.

Strategy 5: Gain a broader perspective on student learning needs from campus stakeholders.

Action: Facilitate campus-wide Learning Advisory Board to strengthen campus-wide support and to gain feedback on improving AEC’s recognition of and support for students’ essential academic skill needs.

Action: Maintain a representative body of deans, faculty and staff to actively serve on advisory committee

Action: Review and update mission statement and guidelines for participation annually

Action: Conduct two meetings per semester to meet strategic objectives, assess ongoing efforts, identify emerging needs, and provide updates on progress.

Action: Leverage existing data (NSSE and URI Office of Institutional Research) to inform programmatic decisions, taking into account University and state based metrics, key populations and retention initiatives

Strategy 6: Continue to improve inclusivity of all AEC services, programs, staff and environments.

Action: Facilitate and incentivize undergraduate AEC employees to participate in Safe Zone training through the Gender and Sexuality Center at URI.

Action: Engage all AEC staff (reception, tutor, and professional staff) in inclusion training.

Action: Recruit and retain diverse AEC tutorial staff by promoting open through URI offices, programs and student organizations that serve traditionally underrepresented groups.

Action: Continue to demonstrate the importance of diversity and inclusion during the hiring process through targeted questions and dialogue.

Strategy 7: Elevate the profile locally, regionally, and nationally of the AEC.

Action: Establish and maintain a system of timely and consistent communication with academic departments, individual faculty and advisors that includes collaboration around tutor recruitment, sharing of AEC usage data and relevant program updates.

Action: Whenever possible serve as host for regional and national conferences, participate in regional and national panels and produce studies and articles for publication.

Action: Participate through attendance and presentations at conferences at regional and national levels

Action: Report out and celebrate achievements of strategic milestones through infographics and other forms of communication with stakeholders

Action: Contribute meaningful insight to the field of learning assistance through professional listserv discussions and collaborations with other learning assistance centers.

Goal Two: Streamline Processes to Improve Effectiveness

Strategy 1: Use technology to enhance AEC program accessibility.

Action: Upgrade TutorTrac or other relevant technology to enhance student-facing functions for a high quality scheduling experience.

Action: Continue to offer online writing tutoring appointments to increase student accessibility to Writing Center services.

Action: Create and expand asynchronous writing consultations to increase student accessibility to Writing Center services.

Action: Use Starfish as student facing system of appointment setting and needs identification for academic consultation referrals

Strategy 2: Streamline data collection, distribution, and analysis.

Action: Use TutorTrac, Starfish, SurveyTrac, and WC Online to analyze student use and assess satisfaction with AEC programs and services.