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Pitt-Greensburg’s Learning Resources Center celebrates 25 years of student success

a student holding a pen

For Lou Ann Sears, her work in the Learning Resources Center (LRC) at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg has been a labor of love. When asked what motivates her, she replied, “It’s the right thing to do.”

That philosophy has been part of Sears’ modus operandi since September 1997 when she was hired to found and direct the LRC. The center offers disability services, tutoring, a writing center and study help. Sears handles the disability services and oversees the work of professional tutors Michael Garing, Daniel Hitt and Jacob Wigfield — plus a small army of peer tutors and volunteer note-takers. In a typical academic year, Sears estimates that more than 575 students use the disability services and approximately 600 students receive tutoring.

“Pitt-Greensburg’s Learning Resources Center played an integral role in my success as a college student,” said one Pitt-Greensburg alumnus. “I have a developmental disability: Autism. Thanks to the Learning Resources Center, I was able to receive crucial accommodations that I needed to succeed.”

Another Pitt-Greensburg alumna said, “I was so grateful to the LRC and staff during my four years at Pitt-Greensburg. After studying for two weeks and failing an exam, I brought my frustrations to Dr. Sears. After confirmation of my clinical diagnosis, Dr. Sears introduced me to a professional tutor who thoroughly supported me each semester to make sure I had the proper resources to help me through my educational experience.”

Faculty said they also appreciate the support provided by the LRC.

“In the fall 2015 term, I had a sophomore psychology major who felt anxious about my Stat 200 Basic Applied Statistics course,” said Michael Lucci, instructor of mathematics at Pitt-Greensburg. “I encouraged her to go to the LRC for tutoring. She improved her grade, started volunteering answers and performed very well in my class. The LRC experience helped her to strengthen her statistical knowledge and to build her confidence. She graduated with honors and went on to complete a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling."

“I have been sending my composition students to the Learning Center for almost as long as it’s been operating,” said Martha Koehler, professor of English at Pitt-Greensburg. “Both the drop-in tutoring and the availability of regular appointments with a committed tutor are vital opportunities for any students who might be struggling with a particular assignment or with expository writing in general.”

Koehler noted that the center provides valuable work experience for student tutors, too. “It’s a friendly, welcoming, hands-on environment, with Dr. Sears guiding all of the exchanges in a discreet and knowledgeable way.”


— Susan Isola