Quinnipiac University
Sunset view of the Arnold Bernhald Library

Support Services

The Learning Commons sets Quinnipiac apart. With a wide range of academic support services available for all students, the Learning Commons is focused on student success, using the term in its full measure and not simply as a stand-in for grades and GPA.  

The Learning Commons poster image

This is Quinnipiac: The Learning Commons

Quinnipiac University is committed to students’ academic success. Whether you need some extra help in a subject, studying strategies or other academic support, the Learning Commons is the place to go. Take a look around the Learning Commons at Quinnipiac University in this episode of #ThisIsQuinnipiac.

A personalized approach for your success

Students studying at individual desks in the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons is a rich hub of resources where you will receive guidance on assignments and course work as you cultivate your individual learning preferences. With locations on both the Mount Carmel and North Haven campuses, the Learning Commons provides a range of educational support and enrichment programs that emphasize student interaction and Quinnipiac’s culture of excellence.

The Learning Commons is a favored resource for both students and faculty because it more than acknowledges that students are unique individuals. We base our entire approach to academic support on this recognition.  Meeting with a professional staff member or a peer educator is an exercise in identifying and surmounting your individual challenges.  Our staff will help you determine your own best methods for becoming a better student now and an effective lifelong learner.

Who benefits most from the Learning Commons? Everyone. For every student in need of help with a difficult class, there are others looking to maintain the requirements for a prestigious scholarship, improve an already strong GPA, or simply find  help studying for next week’s test.

Our professional staff and trained peer educators at the Learning Commons are a key resource in helping you achieve your academic goals.

Our goal is your success

Our professional academic support staff can work directly with you to create a personalized improvement plan that is designed to capitalize on your strengths, improve opportunity areas and help achieve course and learning goals. Through one-on-one sessions with academic specialists, you will assess and revise your improvement plan over the course of the semester while tracking your academic achievement.

In addition to focusing on individual student successes, the academic support specialists use data and learning trends to work closely with faculty in evolving and improving teaching strategies. This collaborative approach helps ensure student success and is rare among institutions of higher learning.

Academic specialists are always available to help you achieve your goals and can be found on both our Mount Carmel and North Haven campuses.

Our Unique Approach

A student and tutor sit at a table with books while looking at a whiteboard.
We teach you how to learn

Progress isn’t measured simply by the memorization of specific content. In the Learning Commons, we know that there are different methods to deliver an education, and that every student’s approach to learning is unique. We also know that academic support means more than raising a few test scores, or turning a B into an A. 

The Learning Commons is a community that provides you with access, support and opportunity from your first day of classes to help you embrace any challenges that may lie ahead. Because we regularly collect data from each of your peer educational or peer support sessions, we are uniquely positioned to help you create a plan to be more intentional about your learning.

Our services highlight 3 key principles:

  • Subject Practice: Addressing challenges and mastering course content is first, but by no means foremost. You’ll learn to engage with content, and work both independently and autonomously.
  • Subject Reflection: Both peer and professional services teach you to reflect on your experiences to aid current or future choices. In short, you learn how to think, and to learn with intention.
  • Subject Transfer: The ability to make connections between and among academic disciplines is part of Quinnipiac’s learning philosophy, and crucial to preparing students for the 21st-century workforce.

These principles come together to make you a stronger, more independent thinker, better prepared to adapt to a variety of situations. This isn’t only what it takes to succeed as a student at Quinnipiac, but as a professional in an evolving, multidisciplinary world. 

Peer Support Opportunities

Two students sit at a table while looking at a laptop.
Students helping students achieve success

Your peers are key partners in your Quinnipiac education. From one-on-one tutoring to weekly study groups, they will support your learning. They also will communicate your progress to your professors as you make strides toward your goals. 

The Learning Commons provides 3 crucial peer educational services:

  1. Peer Catalysts: These specialists work directly in First-Year Seminar courses. They lead a range of in-class initiatives, including group discussions and projects, and also collaborate with professors to suggest, design and execute in-class activities.
  2. Peer Tutors: These individuals are nationally certified, and support a variety of courses from each of the 8 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Peer tutors meet students on an appointment basis, one-on-one or in small groups at the Learning Commons, and help them develop a personalized approach to studying and mastering difficult content.
  3. Peer Fellows: These individuals work directly in traditional lecture and exam-driven classrooms. Fellows coordinate weekly study groups that not only review key course concepts but also practice them. They also work with faculty to keep updated on student performance.

Student Spotlight

Jason Culmone tutors a student while writing on the white board.
Discovering learning preferences

As a double major in math and philosophy, Jason Culmone ’17 is just as comfortable tutoring students in calculus as he is in writing. However, Culmone, who is pursuing a career in teaching, doesn’t allow his strengths to invalidate a student’s struggles.

“I always check my majors at the door,” he said. “You have to start from a student’s perspective and move forward.”

Before delving into derivatives and indefinite intervals, before reviewing essay prompts and refining arguments, Culmone first determines a student’s learning preference. He will examine their notes to see if they are comprehensive, color-coded or full of diagrams. He will ascertain whether they are visual or auditory learners, and will find examples related to what they already know to bridge academic disciplines as much as possible.

“We go through a lot of training to be tutors here, but the most important thing we learn is to play to the strengths of each student," he said.

Culmone isn’t in the business of feeding answers to students over one or two sessions. He develops with them over time what he calls a learning arsenal to have behind them, which will help them get through their work independently. In short, he helps them discover more effective ways to learn and think.

“It is incredible to see the results, to really see the impact you’ve had. It’s why I want to go into education," he said.

Overcoming challenges by leveraging strengths

In the Learning Commons, we advocate for you so that you can advocate for yourself. If you have a disability that you would like to disclose, the Office of Student Accessibility will work with you to ensure that you have equal access to educational opportunity. We’ll also put you in touch with the academic resources you need to succeed, including helping you to create your personalized improvement plan.

Students who disclose a disability

Our ADA coordinators work directly with students who choose to disclose a disability. While Quinnipiac does not have a specialized program for students with disabilities, we do work with students who choose to disclose the nature of their disabilities. We honor both the spirit and the letter of the laws that apply to students with disabilities.

Disclosing a disability is best done early in the semester, perhaps even before the semester begins. Our goal is to fully understand your needs, and help you make a plan to meet your goals.

ADA 504 Guidelines and Policies

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