Mission & History
The mission of the Michigan State University Learning Resources Center is fourfold. First, the Center provides course specific one-on-one academic support to MSU students. This mission is accomplished through specially trained academic specialists, graduate assistants, and undergraduate tutors.
The second focus of the LRC mission is to help MSU students become more effective students overall. This is accomplished through seminars and workshops developed and presented by academic specialists and graduate assistants.
The third focus of the mission is to provide access to educational support and electronic literacy training for MSU students. This is done through programs and offerings in our computer/learning lab overseen by the technology literacy specialist.
The fourth focus of the LRC mission is to provide assistance for faculty in areas related to test writing, learning styles and other pedagogical concerns. This aspect of our mission is accomplished through classroom presentations and workshops, growing out of partnerships between the LRC and various academic units throughout the university.
The Learning Resources Center first started serving MSU students in 1969. Back then we were little more than an AV center for what was then the Department of American Thought and Language (ATL; now Writing, Reading, and American Cultures, or WRAC).
The first coordinator, Dan Preston, developed speed reading and vocabulary building programs that were primarily used by students in ATL classes. Throughout the '70s the Center continued to grow and increase the number of services it offered to MSU students.
Elaine Cheney became the second coordinator of the LRC in 1981. She enlarged the reading offerings, and oversaw the addition of a computer learning lab to the Center. The LRC also expanded its tutoring and outreach services under Dr. Cheney's leadership by opening an evening tutoring location in a residence hall.
By the time Pat Cavenaugh took over as the third coordinator in 1995, the Center had expanded its tutoring offerings again, established two more satellite locations in residence halls, and increased staff. Fred Barton continued this upward trajectory during his years with the Center.
Today, the Center has a staff of five full-time specialists (including Sam Drake, current coordinator), a full-time office manager, graduate assistants, lab aides, and an undergraduate tutoring force of over 30 dedicated undergraduates. We see thousands of MSU students per year through a variety of services and programs and offer specialized training programs with various units around the campus.
In the future, the LRC will evolve into a fresh role as coordinators for peer-assisted learning throughout the MSU neighborhoods. Watch this space for details, our exciting new mission, and even our new name!