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Student Advising and Learning Center to Enrich University Experience

May 20, 2005

Student Advising and Learning Center to Enrich University Experience

As a Spanish professor at Eastern Oregon University, Elizabeth Boretz found herself emotionally unable to let troubled students slide out of sight.

It kills me when students are not doing their best, she explains. Sometimes I couldn’;t do anything to effectively help the students who needed it most. I had to change that.

Boretz obtained a partial teaching release to start an intervention program for students who had been reinstated after academic discipline. Soon she realized she had found her true calling and began work on a Master’;s degree in Student Affairs. She then came to UC Merced based on her desire to return to California and the UC system – she’;s an alumna of UC Riverside. Now she heads up planning for UC Merced’;s Student Advising and Learning Center (SALC), which will incorporate academic advising, tutoring and other services.

Tutoring shouldn’;t be seen just as something you do when you get into academic trouble, Boretz explains. It should be expected on your road to success. Nobody should be ashamed to ask for help. Plenty of our tutoring will even be offered free of charge.

Help will also be available in many subjects, especially calculus, chemistry and writing. Boretz’;s goal is for students to see these courses as opportunities, not obstacles, and to know that they can excel in these areas.

We need strong tutors, Boretz says. Any student who has an academic strength should contact our office. We have paying positions available this fall at all levels that will provide great experience for student tutors.

Tutors will be trained in balanced, sensitive approaches to student success. Students sometimes have trouble with their grades because of outside problems in their lives. SALC will be able to direct them to resources like financial aid or counseling to support their efforts in school.

The center will also offer academic advising, helping students decide on courses of study and then register for the classes they need to graduate in their fields of choice.

In all her plans, Boretz’;s passion for students’; well being shines through. College should be one of the greatest times of your life, she says. These services can help you achieve that.