Achieving Academic Goals.

Mission Statement

The Learning Center exists to assist students in the achievement of their academic goals by providing strengths-focused support for students seeking academic assistance.

Strengths Philosophy

It is our desire that students feel their visit to the Learning Center is a positive experience. We believe all students have been created with gifts, strengths and talents that can be capitalized upon to help them realize their full potential. Rather than focusing on identifying weaknesses, we help students identify and develop their gifts, talents and strengths in order to achieve their academic goals. We believe students will achieve greater success by focusing their energy on their strengths and using those strengths to manage academic challenges. Sometimes, students feel discouraged when they need to ask for help; we hope that focusing on harnessing strengths the student already possesses will help them feel empowered.

Some examples of ways the Learning Center focuses on student strengths:

  • We like to help students identify their personal learning style and teach them classroom and study strategies that meet their unique needs.
  • We enjoy talking with students about the results of their StrengthsFinder assessment (students take this assessment as part of Terra Firma) and encourage them to learn about and develop their strengths.
  • We work with students to set realistic academic goals that are appropriately challenging.


The Learning Center offers a range of programs and services to provide academic support for all traditional undergraduate students.

Students seek help from the Learning Center for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Struggling in a class
  • Feeling disorganized
  • Needing help with study skills
  • Feeling overwhelmed 
  • Needing help with time management
  • Wanting to become a better student
When students come to the Learning Center, our staff helps identify their needs, and may recommend one or more of the following services:
  • Services for students with disabilities
  • Tutoring
  • General academic support
  • Personal advising appointment
  • Learning Strategies Course

Location and Hours

We're located in Miller Hall. Our hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the regular school year. Hours during official school breaks may vary; please see posted times.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. The Learning Center staff will be happy to assist you.
Phone: 616-222-1596
Fax: 616-222-1595


Shannon Pothoven, Ph.D.
Director of the Learning Center

Julie Skinner
Office Manager and
Coordinator of Learning Support Operations
Carol Sprague
Tutor Coordinator and
Adaptive Technology Assistant