A rendering of the new ARC space

A rendering of the new ARC space.

Courtesy of LAB/Life. Science. Architecture, Inc.

Campus & Community

College announces new Academic Resource Center

4 min read

It will offer a range of student support services, including workshops, consultations, coaching

Harvard today announced creation of a new Academic Resource Center (ARC), which will launch in August and will provide a wide range of academic support services for students at Harvard College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The new center is aimed at helping students strengthen their academic skills, with offerings that include responsive resources, consultations, workshops, and targeted one-on-one coaching.

“The creation of the ARC was prompted by what we’ve been hearing as we meet with students and listen to their concerns,” said Amanda Claybaugh, dean of the Office of Undergraduate Education. “Academic stress is something we take very seriously and want to make sure we are addressing.” The new center is designed to do just that.

Among these aspects are the sharing of skills and strategies drawn from the most recent research and practice in academic support. The College plans to use these offerings to equip students for Harvard’s rigorous academic environment.

The ARC is being announced to Harvard College students in an e-mail from Dean Claybaugh and Danoff Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, and to GSAS students in an email from Dean Emma Dench.

“Harvard needs an academic learning center that can help our students engage fully in the educational opportunities on campus,” said Khurana. “By enhancing the College’s support for our students’ intellectual transformation, we hope to foster the conditions for social and personal transformation as well.”

The ARC will open in newly renovated and accessible space on the third floor of 1414 Massachusetts Ave., and will offer modern study space for groups and individuals, modular workshop rooms for private study, and a larger meeting space for group sessions. The rooms will be retrofitted with modern audio-visual equipment.

Among the many services the ARC will offer are one-on-one and small-group academic coaching and workshops on effective studying, exam preparation, and strategic reading, as well as other core academic skills. The ARC also will oversee peer tutoring. All services are available to Harvard College and GSAS students at any time. In addition, during the next academic year, the ARC will offer services to enrolled degree candidates from the Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kennedy School, with limited services available for Harvard Law School and Harvard Extension School with permission from the home school.

Dean of Students Katie O’Dair shared her enthusiasm for the new center, saying, “We are always looking for new ways to make sure we are meeting the needs of today’s students and to support their academic experience. I am excited to partner with the Office of Undergraduate Education to launch the ARC, and I’m hopeful that this is a service that students will take full advantage of.”

With the establishment of the ARC, the College has announced that the Bureau of Study Counsel will be closing on Dec. 31 after over 70 years. The bureau was created in 1947 to support veterans of World War II who were matriculating at the College. It is one of the oldest entities designed specifically to provide academic counseling to students. The ARC willprovide academic support to meet the needs of today’s students, with improved tools to support academic experiences, allowing students to benefit from the many advances in academic learning support, research, and practice over the past several decades.

Among the ARC’s novel components is the creation of a graduate student specialist position, which GSAS and ARC leadership worked together to develop. This new role will enhance existing programming and develop new opportunities for GSAS students. In particular, the ARC seeks to offer programs about common graduate student transitions and challenges, like preparing for or returning from fieldwork, qualifying and comprehensive exam preparation, prospectus writing, and research planning. GSAS students who are interested in sharing their ideas on what services they’d like to see at the ARC are encouraged to visit academicresourcecenter.harvard.edu.

“I am pleased that the ARC will have a staff member who will serve as a graduate academic coach for GSAS students,” said Jackie Yun, GSAS director of student services. “We look forward to partnering with them to help graduate students develop strong academic strategies, whether it is for time management and executive functioning skills, or dealing with perfectionism and procrastination.”

Students may continue using the BSC study space at 5 Linden St. through the end of December. ESL [English as a Second Language] consultation services will also continue to be offered at the BSC throughout the fall. For more information, please visit bsc.harvard.edu.