Learning Commons

The Learning Commons (LC) helps students develop strategies for more effective and efficient learning across the curriculum and throughout their lives. The LC provides academic support for all students, including Early College, CCE, traditional, honors, under-prepared, students with special needs, students on academic probation and those doing creative writing, advanced course work or senior theses.

About our Services

Guilford is a writing-intensive place. Our writing program is revision-driven (often you must submit several drafts before the final, graded one) and utilizes peer-editing and response groups. The LC offers individualized professional tutoring in writing and study skills as well as work with trained student writing partners. Peer tutors offer one-with-one and drop-in assistance for specific courses.

The Learning Commons offers a variety of services:

  • Professional tutors who assist with both academic and creative writing, study skills, reading, time management, test taking & quantitative skills;
  • Peer tutors who assist with course-specific needs;
  • Learning Strategies classes each fall and spring;
  • a variety of class and group presentations such as writing process and time management;
  • and a campus reading series featuring creative writers.

The Learning Commons also provides a variety of resources for students:

  • Space to study, write, tutor and be tutored;
  • books, handouts and other valuable resources, such as semester-at-a-glance calendars and blank weekly schedules.

Academic Calendar

Fri Jul 31

Full Term Classes Ends

Fri Jul 31

Full Term Final Examinations Held During Last Class Period

Mon Aug 03

Final Grades for Full Term Classes Due 8:30 a.m.

Tutorial Services

Professional Tutors: Writing, Study Skills, Reading and Time Management

The Learning Commons is staffed by professional tutors; services are available by appointment and can be made through the front desk.

Often, students come in to work on papers, but they should not expect the tutor to correct grammar or “fix” problems. Instead, tutors help the student to do these things for themselves.

For instance, if a student says (or the tutor notices) she has a problem with passive verbs, the tutor may explain how to convert passive verbs to active ones and then go on to demonstrate this, using one of the student’s sentences. The tutor might then ask the student to find a passive verb and do the same. The student and tutor will then move on through the paper, possibly marking passive verbs, but generally focusing their attention on other issues, such as thesis development or organization.

Students often come in to talk about time management. Rather than stick to abstract principles of good time management, LC tutors work with students’ schedules, and together they try to come up with effective but realistic ways for students to successfully manage their academic responsibilities along with extracurricular and social activities.

Tutors also work with students on study skills and test taking skills, including how to read texts more effectively, how to best prepare for different kinds of exams, and how to handle timed exams.

Quantitative Skills Tutoring
Quantitative Skills hours are staffed on a drop-in basis in the LC Study (Hege 210).

Students can bring in problems they’re stuck on or concepts they’re having trouble grasping and work with the tutor one-on-one or in small groups. The tutor sometimes floats between a group of students working on problems.

If the quantitative skills schedule is incompatible with a student’s schedule or a student feels he/she needs more help than the hours allow, the LC will gladly attempt to provide a student tutor through the Student Tutoring Service.

Chemistry 911
Sometimes students have a few specific questions about labs, problem sets or general chemical concepts, but they don’t need a long-term tutor through the Student Tutoring Service. Or, students may be signed up for a student tutor, but need some immediate help while they wait for the LC to locate a tutor. In either case, Chem911 is an excellent resource for chemistry students.

Chem911, offered by the chemistry department in conjunction with the LC, is staffed by faculty and students who have taken Organic Chemistry and Chemical Principles.

The The Chem 911 hours change every semester.

Student Tutoring Service
The Student Tutoring Service allows the LC to offer individual tutoring in just about any course offered at Guilford. These peer tutors are recommended by professors, who can testify that the tutors both excelled in the class and worked well with others. Although we often have students who are eager to tutor, we always require that they be recommended by professors. Because successful tutoring requires both knowledge of the subject matter and knowledge of tutoring, tutors also attend training sessions addressing fundamental tutoring philosophies and strategies.

Students in need of tutoring sign up at the LC, and our desk workers contact tutors to set up a match. Once a match has been made, the student and tutor schedule meeting times and places, allowing for a great deal of flexibility. The LC pays for eight hours of tutoring per semester, per course (although more hours can be arranged through the director if necessary).

Please note that we cannot guarantee a peer tutor for every class. While students wait for a tutor to be designated, they should seek additional assistance from the instructor and the teaching assistant for that class, if one is available.

Message to the Faculty about Peer Tutors
We cannot offer the peer tutoring service without your recommendations, so we greatly appreciate your attention to these requests. Thanks for your support!

Learning Strategies

gst: 120 Learning strategies

Topics include:

  • improving time management skills
  • reading textbooks effectively
  • preparing for tests
  • writing essays
  • understanding individual learning styles
  • navigating the college environment

This one-credit course meets once per week for either the first or second eight weeks of the semester.

Learning Strategies is sponsored by the Learning Commons (LC). 

Learning Commons Staff