Faces of LIFE: Academic Learning Center
Academic Learning Center (ALC) Team
“Putting Students First at the Life U Academic Learning Center”
Today we are exploring a team at Life U for this special edition of Faces of LIFE. This team’s entire goal is to serve every student and faculty at Life U. This team of three are members of the Academic Learning Center (ALC), and the goal of this department is to provide resources for Life U students to be successful in their academic careers. At Life U’s ALC, the focus is on providing supportive learning environments for students of all abilities. They prioritize student success and ensure that each learner’s individual needs are met. Find out how they’re putting students first.
A great place to begin is to meet the Members of the ALC at Life U
Brianna Beaty– Lead Specialist, has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Social Work concentrating in Children, Youth and Family Services from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She oversees the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL). program. These are tutoring sessions hosted by students on campus. These PAL leaders have an established grade of “A” in the course they are tutoring and have been recommended by faculty to tutor in that course. “Bri,” as she is known to her family, friends and coworkers, hires, trains and supervises all of the PAL student leaders in both the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies (CGUS) and the College of Chiropractic (COC). Beaty also hires the student employees who staff the front desk and perform other administrative duties for the ALC.
As the Lead Specialist, Beaty creates and conducts the workshops that are offered through the ALC, both group and individual sessions. Workshops are offered twice a month and five to six times per quarter and are held in person across campus and online. Some of the topics that are taught are time management, study skills, and note-taking, with the goal of helping students find success in their academic journeys. Beaty also visits classrooms to educate and make students aware of the ALC and all that it has to offer. To build branding and consistency for the ALC, the team begins each quarter with a “Welcome to the ALC” workshop, sharing with Life U students what the ALC has to offer them and letting them know where they are located in CGUS 220.
Lovely Anderson – Project Coordinator, took courses in elementary education at Alabama State University and some courses in business administration at Kennesaw State University. She looks forward to continuing her education in the future. Anderson plans all the ALC events and is involved in team building and morale for the office and all the students that enter the ALC. Anderson creates and distributes the event flyers all over campus, and her team says that the high attendance at these events is due to Anderson’s hard work of promoting the events campus-wide through flyers across campus, on the campus TV monitors and through social media posts.
Rebekah Janiak – Director of the Academic Learning Center, has a Bachelors’s in English from Lourdes University, a M.Ed. in Adult Education from Capella University and is working on Ed.D. in Teaching and Curriculum from Northcentral University.
“Our job is to support the academic growth of our students no matter where they are in their academic journey by offering services to help them no matter if its two in the morning, if they need someone face to face or if they just come in [the ALC office],” said Janiak of the ALC’s role at Life U.
ALC Offerings to Life U Students
The ALC is also there to support Life U’s faculty. The team has met with every department to get to know the faculty and find out their needs. The question the ALC team asks of each of them is, “How can we make your job easier?” Janiak also discussed that one of their goals has been to expand the undergraduate PALS program and the workshops they offer to the students. Through the promotional work by Anderson, they have had a full house at the workshops.
At the time of this interview, they were in the process of hiring a third person whose main role will be to work directly with all of the online students and the student-athletes, offering workshops geared to their needs. They also want students to know that they offer them not only academic resources, but also “peace of mind and a quiet place for them to study” in the ALC suite. Anderson has also made the place more inviting and homelike, with theme decorating, snacks to fuel the students and a safe space to come if they need to take a break.
This shines through when you meet this very special team. All three of them began working together on the same day in November 2022. They didn’t know one another until that first day of work, but they quickly bonded and have become extremely close. Walking into the ALC is like walking into a family home.
“The common core between the three of us is that we all have compassion and that heart to serve,” said Anderson.
Janiak has the history within this group, having worked at Life U for 16 years. In fact, both she and her husband Adam Janiak both teach at Life U, and their son was born several months after Janiak began working here.
“I feel that my son was pretty much born here. When I started in the Library, I was pregnant, and when I became an instructor, I just remember saying ‘thank God for the men’s rugby team’ because they would babysit my son when I was teaching classes,” said Janiak.
Anderson has two children ages 16 and 11. She is known for her cheetah prints and anything pink. She also loves anything inspirational, planning events and has her own faith-based brand apparel line. She also enjoys decorating and blinging, and her goal is to make the world a better place.
Beaty moved to Georgia a little over a year ago with her husband and two sons, ages seven and two, and loves being a mother. She has a “passion to serve” and found that her sweet spot is working in higher education. Spending time with her family is very important to her. Beaty has also created a blog, “Say Mommy,” to share her motherhood journey with other millennial moms and advocates for black maternal health, and she has a holistic view of changing what motherhood looks like as a black millennial mother.
In closing, Janiak shared her views of their team. “This could not have happened without them (Anderson & Beaty). The perfect group just came together.”
For further information and help, please visit life.edu/academic-pages/academic-support/Academic-Learning-Center.
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