Student services get centralized in F building

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: STEPHANIE LAI
The Learning Centre (F2001) and Test Centre (F2006) hosted an open house on October 3 to show off their new facilities. VP of Student Services Cathie Auger cut the cake to commemorate the occasion.

Last year, if you needed to access various student services, you'd end up running all over Fanshawe's campus, hiking to A building for peer tutoring and math help, then dashing to F building for counselling services and test-taking space.

This year, the Learning Centre has moved to F building, and the Test Centre and Accessibility Test Centre have been combined in one large new space. F building is now a “real hub of learning and learning support for students,” according to Counselling and Accessibility Services manager Lois Wey.

The Learning Centre in F2001 — which offers services including a math drop-in centre, study skills assistance, ESL support and peer tutoring — now has more opportunity for interactivity between students through large whiteboards on the walls and computers for student use.

“We're excited about the newer amenities in some of the spaces,” said Robert Kitchen, senior manager of Student Academic Success Services. “I think the facilities staff has done a great job of updating our [spaces]. We've had very positive comments from students.”

The new 100-seat Test Centre in F2006 is “fabulous,” according to Wey. “It gives us 40 computerized test spaces, 11 individual [soundproof] rooms and 50 traditional testing seats for paper and pen tests.”

The Test Centre now offers extended hours to better accommodate students' timetables: it's open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. “That probably triples the amount of time that's available, compared to the old Test Centre,” Wey said.

In previous years, there were two testing spaces: the Accessibility Testing Centre, for students with disabilities, and the Testing Centre, for other students. These have been combined into one space, which is open to all students. According to Jason Lazar, Test Centre coordinator, just fewer than 8,000 tests were written in the Accessibility Testing Centre and a little more than 5,400 were written in the Test Centre from September 2012 to April 2013. The new Test Centre will provide space for every single one of the more than 13,000 tests that are written each year at Fanshawe.

The move is centralizing student services, said Kitchen. “Hopefully there will be some synergies [that come with that]. We're now close to the library, closer to Counselling and Accessibility Services. I think there will be a lot of opportunity for students to get a bunch of their needs met in fairly close proximity.”

“We are very happy that we can provide this for our students,” said Cathie Auger, vice-president of Fanshawe's Student Services. “It's really extending our learning services for students and bringing them all together so that a student can access much of what they need within this corridor. We're just thrilled to be able to have this facility.”