Six Centers of Learning
With Renewed Knox -- the College's 2002 curriculum revision -- came six academic centers whose names and purposes now are seamlessly woven into the Knox experience: the Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development, Center for Global Studies, Center for Intercultural Life, Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), Center for Community Service, and Center for Research & Advanced Studies.
The College already had strong commitments in each of the six areas but sought greater visibility for them and a chance to centralize their operations and coordinate programming to better serve students.
"The six areas have been here," says Larry Breitborde, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. "This was simply a way to have an enhanced organizational structure."
In just six years, the College has bolstered three existing offices into full-fledged centers with expanded programming, such as more peer-tutoring opportunities in the CTL, and has created three new centers out of existing strengths with grant funding.
Now, students know to head to the Center for Global Studies for resources to prepare for off-campus study or to the Center for Community Service to find volunteer opportunities.
"Their visibility brings what they do to the attention of more students," Breitborde says. "Last year alone, the CTL served nearly 500 students. "Students are more likely to enrich their experience on campus by plugging in to the activities of the centers," he adds.
More information on the Centers:
Center for Research & Advanced Studies
- A three-year $228,750 grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation, awarded in 2007, centralizes Knox's many existing programs for undergraduate research under this single umbrella.
- The grant -- close to the amount Knox contributes to the more than 350 independent and research projects completed by students each year -- has allowed Knox to launch the Center and to appoint a director whose role is to promote expanded research in the classroom, assist faculty in integrating research programs into the curriculum, and implement community-based research projects.
Center for Global Studies
- Launched in 2002 in the Old Knox County Jail, the Center for Global Studies has received continuing support from the Caterpillar Foundation. In 2006, the Foundation renewed a three-year, $75,000 grant to bring esteemed scholars and speakers to campus for discussions of international relations, economics, and globalization.
- The funds also support student and faculty research and study across the globe, including Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, and are used to prepare students for off-campus study in more than 30 countries.
Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development
- An enhanced focus on experiential learning in Knox's revised curriculum expanded an existing office into the Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development, which has been moved to a new office suite on campus and offers workshops and seminars to assist students in choosing a career path.
- The Center serves as the headquarters for the College's internship program and the campus clearinghouse for information on job searches, graduation, and professional school exams.
Center for Community Service
- Working in tandem with the Center for Career & Profesional Development, the Center for Community Service was launched in 2005 with a $30,000 start-up grant from The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation that fully funded its first year of operation.
- A half-time professional director of the Center has worked to expand the College's database of volunteer opportunities and publicize them to students, coordinate student volunteer activities locally and nationally, and help students design individual service projects.
Center for Teaching & Learning
- A renovated facility on South West Street became home to the Center for Teaching & Learning in 2005, coinciding with expansion of other services, such as peer-tutoring, to augment the College's existing programs for nurturing academic excellence. The facility also is home to the federally funded TRIO Achievement Program for first-generation college students and a variety of academic counseling and learning skills instruction.
- In 2006, the Center's tutor training program was awarded Mastery level by the College Reading and Learning Association, the highest level awarded to academic tutoring and mentoring programs.
Center for Intercultural Life
- The dozens of clubs and organizations representing and celebrating the diversity of Knox College -- including the Human Rights Center, Casa Latina Culture Center, International Center, Harambee Club, and ABLE Center for Black Culture, to name a few -- are the lifeblood of the Center for Intercultural Life.
- Affiliated with the Office of Student Development, the Center includes the Office of Intercultural Life in Old Main and serves to promote an open and supportive atmosphere on campus. In its expanded form, the Center both addresses the needs and concerns of multicultural students and presents events to promote awareness to the campus and the Galesburg community.