Aylward-Dunn Learning Center

Learning Center

As a Rockhurst University student, where do you go for additional support with your course work? To the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center, where you can meet individually with fellow students and staff members to advance your understanding of and increase your knowledge base in any discipline. You may register for tutoring, Supplemental Instruction (SI), writing assistance, and study strategies instruction, or apply to be a tutor or SI leader yourself. All of these academic services are free to Rockhurst University undergraduate and graduate students and are available for many, but not all, courses.

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center includes a computer lab outfitted with a variety of software programs and Internet and email access. The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center also maintains a library of reference and course materials plus study resources for graduate and licensure examinations. Tutors are available Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m-2 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters.

Make a Tutoring Appointment

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center
Van Ackeren Hall 200
(816) 501-4052


"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson

Tutoring is one of the main activities of the Rockhurst University Aylward-Dunn Learning Center and is offered free of charge to Rockhurst students. Tutors are recommended by faculty members and are educated to provide assistance to others, individually or in small groups. Students who want to work with a tutor can drop-in or make an appointment. Special tutoring sessions can be arranged for ongoing study groups.

Tutors are available to provide assistance for a wide variety of courses. Check out the tutor schedule online or in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center for availability of assistance in a particular area.

Drop-in tutoring is available in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center during the fall and spring semesters from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Friday. You may make a tutoring appointment online, call extension 4052 or by come to the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center at 200 Van Ackeren.

Tutoring has a double benefit. It offers students assistance with difficult course work while enabling the tutors to deepen their understanding of the subject and sharpen valuable skills in communication and interpersonal relations. If you are interested in becoming an academic tutor, please contact Ann Volin by email at ann.volin@rockhurst.edu or by telephone at extension 4813.

Making a Tutoring Appointment

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center schedules a variety of tutors daily from 10 a.m. -7 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Fridays. Tutor schedules change each fall and spring semester. The schedule is also updated for finals to accommodate upcoming tests so that you can get extra support. 

To make an appointment with a tutor or to view our tutor schedule online, please click visit rockhurst.mywconline.com.

For help with making appointments or navigating our online system, please read our Quick Guide to WC for Rockhurst Students.

If you want to meet with a tutor and don't see a time that works for you, contact us at 816-501-4052 and we will work to set up an individual meeting that's a better fit. Or, if you want help in a subject matter that you don't see listed, let us know and we'll look for a tutor in that area.

Supplemental Instruction

"The SI leaders were very helpful in clearing up the material in class that I had trouble understanding."

"I would not have done nearly as well as I did without the SI sessions."

Supplemental Instruction (SI) takes a unique approach to academic support. Rather than targeting students who are at risk, the program identifies high risk courses, often those taken by beginning students. All students in these courses have the option of attending study sessions led by SI leaders who have already successfully completed the course and are currently attending the class. The goal is to help students master course content while they develop and integrate learning and study strategies. Generally, students who participate in SI sessions earn higher course grades and persist in courses at a higher rate than non-SI participants.

In close association with SI sessions are study groups, which are also led by students who have successfully completed the class and are recommended by the professor to lead students in intense review of course materials. The difference between the two programs is slight: the study group leaders are not able to attend the class itself, but they still meet regularly with the professor to make sure their materials are in line with the class's progression. SI and study groups are available for selected courses. 

Writing Assistance

"If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write." - Epictetus

Writing assistance is provided to both undergraduate and graduate Rockhurst students. Peer writing tutors and staff members work individually with students to improve critical thinking and writing skills. Faculty and staff members too can receive writing support through Aylward-Dunn Learning Center staff members; writers at any age and professional level benefit from discussions about their work.

Students can request a writing tutor in connection with any project ranging from a history paper to a graduate school application. From the planning stage to final editing, students receive assistance that extends throughout the writing process.  Students are welcome to drop in for assistance or to make an appointment; writing tutors are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. Please call ext. 4052 or come to Van Ackeren 200 if you want to make an appointment.

Study Strategies

"The art of true memory is the art of attention." - Samuel Johnson

Students develop and apply strategies in conjunction with current courses, assessing their progress through the techniques taught to them in Aylward-Dunn Learning Center sessions. Study strategies include the following:

  • Time management
  • Setting goals
  • Textbook reading and note taking
  • Lecture note taking
  • Test preparation
  • Test taking

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center staff can also create workshops for Rockhurst students. These workshops focus on strategies that ensure success in the college classroom: getting organized, analyzing academic achievement, and generating appropriate strategies for maximizing performance.

Tutor Preparation

Tutor preparation is offered to qualified students.

Students who qualify have the opportunity to be prepared and work as tutors and SI leaders. These are all paid, part-time positions.

How are tutors selected?
Students who excel academically, possess strong interpersonal communication skills, and are recommended by their professors are considered for positions as tutors in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center.

How are tutors prepared?
Our tutoring program has been designed to provide tutors with information about topics such as active listening, effective questioning, reading for understanding, and setting goals for tutoring sessions. Tutor support is ongoing; once tutors are hired in the spring, they begin to receive information that will help them be a successful tutor. Often tutors have specialized sessions led by the faculty in their tutoring area.

SI leaders are required to attend workshops at the beginning of their first semester as SI leaders. The training covers such topics as how students learn, instructional strategies aimed at strengthening student academic performance, data collection, and management details. They meet on a weekly basis with the Learning Strategies Coordinator.

Tutors who cover writing sessions learn through a combination of strategies. They meet regularly with the Writing Coordinator in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center to discuss writing theory and tutoring strategies, and they work under the ongoing supervision of the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center Staff.

Access Services

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center assists Rockhurst Access Services by providing the option of exam accommodations for students whom the Access Office has approved. Students are not required to take exams in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center. Specific exam accommodations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extended time
  • Quiet, distraction-reduced environment
  • Use of word processor for essay exams
  • Use of a scribe and/or reader
  • Use of a computer with or without reading/voice software

Examination Policies and Procedures for Students

The first responsibility of the student is to work with their faculty member if they are interested in taking exams in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center.  If the decision is made to use the Learning Center facilities for exams, then the student needs to meet with a Learning Center staff member to discuss those procedures.  

Examination Policies and Procedures for Faculty

The Aylward-Dunn Learning Center is committed to maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of the examinations provided for students in the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center. Specific Learning Center Policies and Procedures for Faculty for examinations help us to provide these services.

Examinations may be delivered to the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center in person or may be sent electronically to learningcenter@rockhurst.edu.  All examinations must be accompanied by a completed Examination Instruction Form.