More than 50 people attended the official groundbreaking ceremony for the recently completed Center for Academic Learning and Tutoring and Learning in the Yocum Library on the campus of Reading Area Community College. In a 2021 survey of RACC students, several hundred survey respondents expressed a need for more spaces on campus for private study, group study, and to meet with a tutor or instructor outside of the classroom.
The RACC administrators were more than happy to accommodate this need and in every way the new space exceeded their expectations. The Learning Commons will provide an excellent environment for collaborative learning in a state-of-the-art facility. Features include private and communal seating and collaboration spaces, advanced connectivity, as well as accommodations for dining and cooling off. Those who use the space will be able to take inspiration from the panoramic views of the city of Reading, including the Penn Street Bridge and the Schuylkill River.
In addition to modifying the 6,600 square foot space, which was previously used as meeting and conference spaces, the project also includes a renovation of the library’s iconic “Tower Room”, which is a glazed meeting room of 500 square feet facing the east side. from campus.
“The new spaces support RACC’s academic mission and interactive teaching format, combining collaborative spaces with small to medium-sized classrooms. To provide an opportunity for physical and intellectual collaboration, the Learning Commons is proportioned to give students, tutors and instructors the ability to move around and interact, and students to interact with each other,” said RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney.
“We have acted strategically to meet this critical need in a way that provides students with options. In this space, they will now have a space to study alone, to study in a group, to meet an instructor outside the classroom and to work with a tutor, according to their needs”, explains the dean of teaching. of the RACC, Kevin Foulques.
“The Commons will encourage learning and practice of working in groups to achieve goals. We know the growing value of this skill set to employers as we prepare our students for the workforce of today and tomorrow,” he continues.
To learn more about the Academic Learning Commons and the Tutoring and Learning Center on the RACC campus, visit racc.edu or call 610-607-6224.