History of the Learning Enrichment Center


The Learning Assistance Center (LAC) had its beginnings in the Counseling Center and in 1980 moved to the first floor of Marshburn Library. The LAC was primarily staffed by student tutors. Primary services included a learning skills development laboratory, English as a Second Language (ESL) lab, peer tutoring, and self-paced instructional modules.


The Learning Center was initiated in the fall of 1980 by part-time director Kay Marie Jett, who was also a faculty member in the Department of Communication. In 1982 the center name changed to the Learning Enrichment Center (LEC). A part-time office manager was added to the four-person staff in 1983. Services included a one-unit Reading and Study Skills class, tutoring, Conversation Lab for international students, and the Student Academic Counseling Program (SAC). In the SAC program five students were trained to administer a Survey of Reading and Study Efficiency test during Orientation. Following the testing, SAC offered small group test interpretation sessions with subsequent individual consultation. Additional evening workshops on reading improvement, learning styles, note taking and test taking were available to students in the Clarinda Lounge. In a Clause article dated September 18, 1980, Kay Jett is quoted as saying,

"We want to see ourselves as servants of the community. People don’t have to be geniuses [to get good grades] . . . it’s just a matter of knowing the right way to study. We’re here to help in whatever way we can."


Rebecca Knippelmeyer, M.A., became the part-time director in 1985, and peer tutoring became the primary service to APU students. Staff of the LEC included two graduate interns and nine SACs. Four Reading and Study Skills classes were offered and academic advising for undeclared majors was added to LEC services. The LEC was located in the Round House and in 1987 moved to Adams Hall. The center increased its enrollment in both tutors and students in need of help. In 1991 the LEC moved from Adams Hall to a larger building in the Village Court. In 1992 a part-time freshman testing coordinator was hired to assess the reading level of incoming students and provide remedial reading classes for those students with a reading of level below grade 12.9. A faculty advisory panel was initiated to provide feedback on LEC services.

1993 to the Present

Nina Ashur, Ed.D., became the first full-time director of the LEC in 1993, which reinforced the university's commitment to academic student support services. The following year in 1994, a full-time office manager was hired along with a part-time academic services coordinator. This person, also a National Association of the Deaf (NAD) certified sign language interpreter, was added to the LEC staff to support students with disabilities along with the existing part-time freshman testing coordinator. The Supplemental Instruction Program was added to target difficult courses. Two graduate student interns from the College Student Affairs (CSA) Program provided additional academic support to students. In 1993 the LEC moved from paper-pencil testing to a nationally normed computerized testing product called COMPASS (Computerized Assessments) which is an ACT product. Advisory input from the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) provides a community source for feedback on the services offered.

The LEC strives to grow and develop support systems as the student population changes and evolves. Therefore, the LEC remains committed to offer or try programs that may provide a benefit to the learning community of students.

In 2003 with the building of Trinity Hall, Village Court was demolished and the LEC moved to a modular building east of Adams Hall on University Drive.

Academic Programs

  • Peer Tutoring
  • Group Tutoring
  • Disabilities Accommodations
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Peer-Led Team Learning support for CHEM 151 and CHEM 152 General Chemistry

Courses Developed and Staffed by LEC Personnel

Classes Units
ENGL 099
College Reading and Critical Thinking*
ENGL 100
Basic Writing*
ASL 101
American Sign Language
- or -
ASL 102
American Sign Language II

Previous Academic Programs

  • Video-Supplemental Instruction for College Algebra
  • Athletic Support Program
  • Mathpass Individualized Computer Instruction for Elementary and Intermediate Algebra (Pilot Program)

Assessment/Testing Programs

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • COMPASS Freshman Testing (Computerized Assessment in reading, math, and writing)
  • Proctoring Services (i.e., UC Berkley Extension, various other correspondence, etc.)