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Nelson aims to improve LEC

Alejandra Aguilar
Staff Writer

Matthew Nelson, new director of the Learning Enhancement Center, plans on helping create a better center dedicated to better students.

As the new director, Nelson has short and long term plans for the growth of the LEC. However, his background in English and college writing tutoring do not make him new to the job.

Nelson graduated as an English major from Northern Illinois University and moved to California to earn his graduate degree at UC Irvine.

While he was at UCI, he taught English, tutored college students and thought he could keep working in the tutoring field.

“I like the college writing tutor work, because you don’t have to grade or evaluate the students. You just get to help them,” Nelson said.

The LEC’s purpose is to help students who are struggling in a class or classes.

The LEC has approximately 40 tutors who are students at ULV.

Nelson said they are trying to help students recognize their best habits and help them become better by asking better questions.

According to Nelson, student tutors are often better suited for the job, because they know the classroom experience intimately.

They are able to connect with students at the same level.

“We aren’t here to give answers. I think the LEC is a place where students can refine their skills and become more comfortable with their schoolwork,” Nelson said.

“Maybe they aren’t crazy about raising their hand; they don’t know how to ask a question or they aren’t comfortable interacting with their professor – they can start learning that here.”

Nelson said he found the LEC in good shape when he began working, but there are changes he hopes to accomplish.

Due to the lack of resources, ULV does not serve online and regional campuses in the way he wishes.

He hopes to expand the LEC towards them and integrate the FLEX community and La Verne experience.

He hopes to establish more connections between the LEC and other departments and he is also looking into collaborating with the financial aid department to promote external scholarships.

“I think he brings a lot to our tutoring center and is the best possible person for this job. He’s an asset to the school and tutoring program. He’s a great mentor,” Alyssa Koutsoutis, tutor at the LEC said.

Koutsoutis said she has seen a lot of new and great changes. The LEC has more tutoring appointments than in the past and they are offering a better service.

“We are always questioning what else can be done and what is expected,” Rosalyn Nava Reyes, math tutor at the LEC said. “I see the LEC expanding and going to greater places.”

“My thing for students in college is that you are here to learn how to ask good questions.

That’s the thing that will put you in a good place to move forward,” Nelson said.

Nelson said students who have contact outside the classroom are often students who succeed and encourages students to make appointments at the LEC.

“Learning to ask the right questions will get you a job, it will get you a date and it will get you success.

Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at alejandra.aguilar@laverne.edu.

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