Academic Support AY2012-2013 ARPD
Academic Support at Windward includes four organizational units with permanent, full-time staff: the Library, Computing Services, Media Services, and the Testing Center. Tutoring services are provided through three academic skill labs coordinated by instructional faculty granted assigned time (the Math Lab, the Speech Lab, and the Writing Resource Center) as well as through the online Smarthinking service and programs administered by Student Affairs (peer mentors and supplemental instruction).
Early in AY2012-2013, the Academic Support units moved from four different buildings into Windward’s new 70,000 SF Library Learning Commons facility at the center of campus. In addition to housing the Library collections, the new building provides students with 70 PC and Mac computers for open lab use, a computer classroom for Library instruction and other workshops, seven group meeting rooms, a mix of collaborative and quiet study spaces, and “The Hub” coffee shop. The building is also home for the Ka Piko Student Success Center which combines the college’s tutoring services, the Testing Center, an assistive technology lab, and Mental Health and Wellness counseling.
The new Library Learning Commons facility has been popular with and heavily utilized by students, and this has contributed to growth in demand for nearly all Academic Support services. For example, the Library experienced a 186% increase in the gate count over the previous year and an 88% increase in circulation (loans), and the Testing Center experienced roughly a 20% increase in placement tests and a 35% increase in local campus tests. Satisfaction with Academic Support services is high, with most factors rated positively by 90% or more of survey respondents expressing an opinion.
While all Academic Support units are considered “healthy” in regards to demand, efficiency and effectiveness as of the end of AY2012-2013, the Library deems the near-term outlook “cautionary” due to staffing challenges. Retirements have forced the Library to rely on emergency hires while seeking qualified personnel for three critical positions (Head Librarian, Access Services Manager, and Circulation Manager), and two new staff positions are sought (a Hawaiian Specialist Librarian and an Electronic Resources Librarian) to provide appropriate access to and assistance with the Library’s Hawaiian Collection and electronic collections.
Other key Academic Support initiatives during AY2013-2014 will include improving the coordination and assessment of tutoring services; seeking to institutionalize the Ka Piko Coordinator position and supplemental instruction programs that have been funded by Title III; exploring lower-cost equipment innovations and new funding strategies to meet growing technology resource needs and provide for lifecycle equipment replacement; increasing the staffing and support for instructional development and Web development projects; and extending Testing Center services to include applicant exams for the State’s Department of Public Safety.