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The learning center area made its debut in the Jenkins Education Complex building in 1997 with a Director, Assistant Director, some computers, and tutoring available free for all MacMurray College students. Students utilized the Center for academic help, study space, and computer use. In 2006, a First Year Experience program was introduced as a separate component. The CLE had a Director but no longer an Assistant Director as this position became the Director of the First Year Experience.

In 2008, MacMurray received a donation of monies from Gracia Coultas, a long time supporter of MacMurray College. It was decided to dedicate the money to improving the learning center environment. A computer lab that was rarely utilized and located in another building was moved just down the hall from the main tutoring room. All new computers and tables were purchased and installed. A classroom just across from the tutoring room was also equipped with new teaching technology. An area adjacent to the classroom also received new comfortable furniture for students to use while between classes or for quiet study. The four areas — the main tutoring room, computer lab, technology classroom, and lounge area — all make up the Center for Learning Excellence.

While the First Year Experience Program was offering new and transfer students assistance in adjusting to college life, it was clear that it could be improved by becoming attached to the CLE. In 2010, the CLE was re-organized. A new National College Learning Center Institute-trained Director and Assistant Director were hired to work together to manage all areas of the Center for Learning Excellence.

Today the CLE houses an Assistant Director who acts as a Professional Tutor, Math Specialist, CLE Coordinator, several trained and faculty-referred peer tutors, study groups, and a Director that coordinates all of the programs of academic support free to all MacMurray College students. The CLE houses the MACM 101 First Year Experience Program, the Turning Point Program for students at risk of falling on probation, the MACM 201 Study Skills course, the MacASSIST Program to support the academic performance of our athletes, the FLAG early alert system, supplemental instruction, and acts as a hub for Developmental Education.

What's in our future? Lots! We have an initiative in place to add 5 more computers, another printer, and a new early alert system, among other things, to help improve our efforts at supporting the academic performance of our students at MacMurray College. As one student (Rhea Drake) commented, "The CLE is 100% better than it was before," and we plan on continuing to improve our service to students, the faculty, and staff at MacMurray College!

View a photostory tour of the Center for Learning Excellence.

Last updated: May 28, 2015