Diane Lee | Oct. 11, 2013, 6:54 p.m.
Pomona College is launching an academic support program called the SAGE Learning Fellows to help students with time management and study skills.
Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Learning Jan Collins-Eaglin has been in charge of developing the program since she began working at Pomona in May. The program officially begins in January 2014, although Collins-Eaglin said that she will work individually with students who contact her this semester.
Collins-Eaglin said the program wills focus on general support, not tutoring.
"When students come to college, things like time management are difficult," Collins-Eaglin said.
“In science class, you should study differently from humanities classes," she added. "Some students are very smart, but do not put energy into [learning] different study strategies."
Collins-Eaglin spoke with students, faculty members, and staff of academic programs such as the Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) and the Writing Center to gather opinions on how to design the program while keeping it distinct from already existing academic programs. She also looked into similar programs at other colleges.
QSC Director Travis Brown said that the QSC and Learning Fellows are hoping to work together in the future, and that he is looking forward to seeing the program get started.
“Not everyone went to the same high school," Brown said. "Some students went to great high schools that prepared them well for college, but many students did not have that experience."
The Learning Fellows program will hire student fellows through an application process.
“We’re looking for students who have the willingness to participate and be committed," Collins-Eaglin said.
She added that fellows will receive certification as International College Mentors through the College Reading and Learning Association.
Nancy Quiñones CGU has been collaborating closely with Collins-Eaglin to develop the program since mid-September. Quiñones has worked for more than 15 years in administrative positions at various colleges, including at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University. Her main job is to design the training process for the student fellows.
“Dean Jan is new and I’m new to Pomona, but there’s certainly something [we] bring in terms of awareness of the consortium," Quiñones said. "It’s been a short time, but in that short time, we’ve tried to do a great deal."
Quiñones added that the Learning Fellows program will focus on applying practical study skills to help students create schedules that include not only studying, but also co-curricular activities and social time.
“Since we came to Pomona, we have been constantly reminded that we are the 'best and the brightest' in the world, which might stigmatize efforts to seek for academic assistance," said Peter Chen PO ’16, a sponsor. "But college is a very different environment and everyone coming in more or less needs to adjust to this new learning experience. It is great that Pomona started this program, which I think will help reinforce our noncompetitive spirit."