How the Learning Resource Center Boosts Student Success

At San José City College we’re committed to providing students with the support they need to achieve their goals and unleash their brilliance. Assistance from the Learning Resource Center (LRC) plays a huge role in this effort.

If you haven’t heard of it or you’ve been putting off checking it out — the wait is over. Because today we’re doing a deep dive on the LRC and all its incredible offerings.

“The LRC staff work collaboratively to provide both academic and technical support for students campus wide, at all levels.”

Learning Resource Center Staff
Learning Resource Center Staff. Left to Right: Chunhua Wang (Instructional Support Assistant), Michelle Zhen (former Student Assistant), Leslie Takei (ESL Instructor), and Debra Travis (Senior Administrative Assistant).
Learning Resource Center Staff. Left to Right: Chunhua Wang (Instructional Support Assistant), Michelle Zhen (former Student Assistant), Leslie Takei (ESL Instructor), and Debra Travis (former Senior Administrative Assistant).

What is the Learning Resource Center (LRC)?

The LRC is located on the first floor of the César E. Chávez Library and Learning Resource Center Building at SJCC’s main campus on Moorpark Avenue. It’s an educational hub where students can access individual assistance, group workshops, study materials, tech resources, and a supportive learning space. 

Anyone currently enrolled at San José City College can take advantage of the perks of the LRC at zero-cost. Yes, that means free. And it’s all made possible by LRC’s kind and dedicated team.

“The LRC staff work collaboratively to provide both academic and technical support for students campus wide, at all levels.” The LRC staff said in a collective interview. They also “provide students with referrals regarding additional campus services that support and enhance their learning opportunities.” No matter what you need, the LRC staff are there to help you out — or point you in the right direction.

And before the temporary closure of the physical location due to COVID-19, it was also an essential meeting point where students could socialize, collaborate, and receive much needed peer support. Its designated Learning Community space was often occupied by student groups like Umoja and the Puente Project. It was also open to any other groups looking for a place to connect.

Once SJCC’s campus fully reopens, it’s sure to return to its previous glory as a vibrant student space. But in the meantime, it’s online community continues to thrive. (More on that later.)

“The LRC offers a unique and individualized learning experience and helps students overcome educational barriers.”

LRC Staff

Navigating the LRC’s Many Resources

There’s a lot going on at SJCC’s Learning Resource Center, in the best way possible. It’s conveniently organized into three different centers which you can explore depending on your specific needs. Here’s what you can expect.

The Tutoring Center

This is the place to be if you’re feeling stuck in virtually any class.

“The Tutoring Center offers assistance in a wide variety of subject areas including, but not limited to: Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Foreign Languages, History, Media Arts and more.” Said Tutoring Center Coordinator, Peiman Gheibi.

One of the best things about the Tutoring Center is its flexibility. Students can choose from drop-in or scheduled tutoring in a 1-1- or group setting. They can find tutoring support that is adapted to their personal needs. But no matter the circumstances, they’ll always be met with friendly and highly qualified tutors.

The Reading & Writing Center (RWC)

When you’re first starting out on your higher education journey, writing college level papers can be intimidating. That’s where the RWC comes in.

The RWC “will help you with reading and writing assignments in any discipline but with a focus on English courses.” The LRC website says. “The Center will help you with documentation (MLA and APA), proofreading, job and university applications, personal essays and statements, and preparation for the Writing Skills Test (WST).

Both the Tutoring Center and the Reading & Writing Center are certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). You’ll either be helped by a certified Peer Tutor or faculty, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

ESL Lab

The ESL Lab caters specifically to English language learners. And anyone who is enrolled in a course at SJCC can sign up for a free 0-unit lab section (ESL 508) and/or take advantage of the ESL Lab’s many resources. It gets the title of “lab” because it’s home to 34 computers equipped with headsets. Students can borrow or use tons of study materials like grammar software, dictionaries, texts, and other resources.

It also provides individual tutoring sessions with lab instructors and peer tutors. Another popular offering are the faculty-led workshops that cover topics like vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading to pronunciation or conversation skills, and more.

“The ESL Lab in the LRC is a welcoming presence where students can get personalized and group language assistance to succeed in their SJCC courses,” the former ESL Lab Coordinator, Leslie Takei said.

“The ESL Lab provides essential and meaningful academic support to English learners, especially because our students come from such varied backgrounds.” Current ESL Lab Coordinator, Patricia do Carmo said, “When we assist our students, we help them grow in a variety of areas and not only become more effective and successful language learners and college students, but also more confident participants and contributors to our communities.”

Check out this ESL Lab video for further details on its services for Spring 2021.

Lots of Computers

“The LRC is one of the largest and most accessible computer labs on campus. It offers students more than 100 open-access workstations, three computer labs, and is ADA compliant.” LRC staff said. “All workstations are Internet-connected and feature Microsoft Office applications.”

Even if you don’t need extra tutoring or study materials, the LRC may still become your most visited place on campus. Some workstations even run specialized software, like Adobe Creative Cloud and all computers are connected to a printing system.

As a bay area community college, SJCC knows the importance of providing wide-reaching access to this sort of essential technology. Which brings us to our next point — the LRC online!

The LRC’s Digital Resources

Regardless of circumstances, the LRC staff is wholly committed to student success. So when COVID-19 forced temporary campus closures, they didn’t miss a beat.

For personalized tutoring, it built off its existing online infrastructure with platforms like Canvas, Zoom, and Google Suite. Now, it continues to offer free 1-1 tutoring via Zoom and even uses NetTutor to provide additional 24/7 tutoring support. The ESL lab also had a smooth transition and started relying more heavily on its website for organization.

Check out the video below to learn about navigating online tutoring.

The LRC Fosters Greater Student Equity

The Learning Resource Center promotes student equity in every possible arena. That may look like assisting first generation college students with tutoring, international students in the ESL Lab, or simply providing a comfortable space to study.

“The LRC offers a unique and individualized learning experience and helps students overcome educational barriers.” LRC staff said. “Students will find everything they need.”

The LRC also collaborates with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). It has an SAS Lab that offers accessible workstations and it provides specialized software and adaptive technologies.

Through the Embedded Tutoring and the Early Alerts and Outreach Programs, the LRC is able to proactively connect with students who are receiving low scores in class. That way, they can provide students with guidance and pathways to academic success earlier rather than later.

The LRC goes above and beyond to provide all students with the support they need. Because they know that every student deserves to achieve their goals.

Don’t Miss Out on the Learning Resource Center

No matter where you are on your academic journey the Learning Resource Center will have your back. Whether it’s through a physical space or in a digital context, the LRC is an essential pillar in the close-knit community at San José City College. 

It provides opportunities for success that you won’t want to miss out on. So if you haven’t paid a virtual visit to the LRC yet, do it today! Learn how they can help you unleash your brilliance.