PLUS
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PLUS Program Services

The PLUS Program is unique in the level of services available to the qualified student who has learning differences. Unlike support programs at some other institutions, the PLUS Program does not use peer tutors as services are delivered by a professional staff of Learning Consultants and Learning Associates. PLUS Program services emphasize Embedded Learning Strategies instruction within a Learning Conversation approach for content tutorial support in individual sessions. The Program does not provide remedial or developmental instruction.

Muskingum University's PLUS Program provides two levels of academic support to qualified students admitted into the program: PLUS Full service and PLUS Maintenance service. Students are encouraged to match their need with the appropriate level of support during the course of their academic careers at Muskingum.

Both levels of PLUS Program services include: (1) structured and on-going one-to-one tutorial sessions to enhance student learning and application of academic skills; (2) pre-advising to support students by preparing them to meet with their academic advisors (3) provision of a Primary Learning Consultant or Primary Learning Associate who acts as a liaison between home, faculty and others; and (4) a continuum of services that provides students with opportunities for more intense and frequent, but short-term, individualized academic support that may be needed to make academic progress.

PLUS Full-service students receive approximately one hour of individual contact time per each eligible course with Learning Consultants and/or Learning Associates. Students may opt to meet for a one hour session per week or for two half-hour sessions per week. Depending on the number of classes in which PLUS students are enrolled, PLUS participants average three hours of tutorial sessions per week.

PLUS Maintenance service students receive approximately one half hour of individual contact time per each eligible course with Learning Consultants and/or Learning Associates. PLUS students who achieve academic success may modify their PLUS Full-service status to PLUS Maintenance services, for which there is a reduced fee corresponding to reduced tutorial support.

For a more detailed comparison of services and fees for the levels of PLUS Program support, refer to the Fees and Services Table.

PLUS Program individual sessions focus on Embedded Learning Strategy instruction within a Learning Conversation approach in which strong partnerships are build between students and Learning Consultants/Associates. It is within the supportive context of the PLUS Program that each student, in collaboration with the Learning Consultants/Associates, is encouraged to develop and deepen self-awareness of his/her unique strengths and challenges, recognize what factors influence his/her success and identify and implement specific and friendly strategies, actions, systems and supports to move towards his/her academic goals.

The PLUS Program offers students support for executive functioning, guided practice for skills building and a platform for fostering attitude awareness. These academic support services are offered within an environment that is knowledgeable and appreciative of learning differences. When vital knowledge, skills and attitudes are obtained in a supportive environment, and time and opportunity are allowed for the student to accept the value of the instruction, combined with student self-awareness, the student is empowered to take charge of his/her own learning process and become a successful learner. Students are invited to gain knowledge and acquire language with which to talk about their learning and explore proven educational tools with which to manage their learning.

Through Embedded Learning Strategy instruction, students are provided systematic and explicit instruction in learning strategies that are embedded in course content. This instruction builds upon the strengths of each student while addressing levels of comprehension and mental organization that are often difficult for students with learning differences. Embedded Learning Strategy instruction is used to address difficulties in such areas as time and materials management, organization, test taking, reading, writing, critical thinking, memory and study skills, among others. Effective strategy use involves not only knowledge about the particular strategy, but also when to use the strategy, how to monitor its use, and how to mediate the complex interaction among these elements. Instruction in embedded learning strategies empowers the learner to become efficient, effective and self-regulated learners.

Through Learning Conversations, Learning Consultants/Associates provide the context within which students may appreciate that they can succeed, recognize the factors that influence their success, improve self-confidence and understand their unique learning profiles and what it means for their learning. A Learning Conversation starts from an understanding and appreciation of learning differences and their impact on learning as revealed by the student. The Learning Conversation is a structured meeting between the student and the Learning Consultant/Associate with the purpose of assisting the student in uncovering his/her specific learning strengths and challenges, exploring attitudes and beliefs, then, in collaboration, identify and implement specific and friendly approaches, tactics, actions and support structures so the student can progress towards his or her academic goals.

This blended model facilitates life-long learning in students which is essential to success in college, work and life pursuits. As students build support systems for higher order thinking, learn and apply learning strategies and acquire tools with which to identify and manage the impact of their learning strengths and challenges, they become self-directed learners. Students gain knowledge about how they learn, a language with which to talk about their learning, and educational tools with which to manage the impact of their learning difference. As a result, students develop self-awareness and self-advocacy skills to know and get what they need to succeed.

For Additional Information about the PLUS Program

Additional information may be obtained from the PLUS Program by phone at 740-826-8280, by e-mail at ethenry@muskingum.edu, or by mail at Walter Hall, Muskingum University, New Concord, Ohio 43762-1199.

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