The Learning Center
West Virginia Wesleyan College provides excellent support programs to students with diagnosed learning disabilities, attention disorders, and other special needs.
The staff of the Learning Center strives to support the college in its mission to help students think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, act responsibly, and demonstrate local and world citizenship. We guide our students to:
- Plan, organize, and set goals based on self-understanding.
- Become aware of and draw on personal and cognitive strengths.
- Link current education to long-term goals.
- Become active and independent learners.
- Make decisions for healthy and positive outcomes.
- Continue to develop respect for themselves and others.
- Appreciate the merits of hard work and perseverance.
The Learning Center promotes the academic success of students who are at risk due to diagnosed disabilities, other special needs, and insufficient preparation. In addition, all Wesleyan students are given the opportunity to be supported by instruction in college-level learning strategies and through the outreach of the Walk-In Tutoring System. Finally, the Learning Center staff is charged with ensuring College compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for all students who qualify for this protection.
In addition to serving all students on campus through various academic support initiatives, the structured program for students with learning and attention problems will model excellence in the field. The Learning Center seeks to stay current with research in the disciplines of cognitive psychology and special education to implement best practices. This knowledge will continue to be the foundation for offering a broad range of services, assistance, and guidance to support students with varying levels of need and for delivering individually structured support through the provision of comprehensive yet flexible services.
Summary of Programs
West Virginia Wesleyan College is strongly committed to giving you the outstanding learning support you are looking for. Our resources and facilities are among the most complete in the country. They are designed to serve a broad scope of student needs, ranging from the individually structured assistance, accommodations, and services of our foundational program to our specialized, concentrated support systems. The following programming selections can stand alone or be combined to fit your needs:
- Foundational Program
- Mentor Advantage Program
- Day-Time and Evening Check-In
- Lindamood-Bell® Learning Techniques
- Services for all students on campus
Finally, the staff of the Learning Center oversees the provision of services and accommodations for all campus students with diagnosed disabilities. Students who believe they may need disability-related accommodations should contact the Director of the Learning Center for more detailed information about procedures for receiving appropriate adjustments.
In the Foundational program, professionals who have earned graduate degrees in the fields of Education, Psychology, Educational Psychology, Special Education, Counseling, and Reading work to help each student design strategies for academic success. Students, who enroll in our optional programs on a semester-by-semester basis, will also be served by the Foundational support prior, during, and after enrollment in the fee-based programs.
All qualified students have access to this assistance. The heart of the program is the student relationship with the Comprehensive Advisor. It is from this starting point that components of support are built as the student transitions to and persists at Wesleyan. Our students work with their Comprehensive Advisor to cover the following areas:
- Specialized academic advising.
- Preferential preregistration for the first three. semesters
- Implementation of accommodations to be used for college classes.
- Development of academic, organizational, and self-monitoring strategies.
- Discussion of priorities and motivational outlook.
- Self-Advocacy and social coaching, as needed.
- Assistive Technology Lab with state-of-the-art software.
- Test Taking Lab including readers, scribes, and word-processing, as needed.
- Note Takers, as needed.
- Connection to services within our program support system.
- Linkage with campus organizations and offices.
Mentor Advantage Program (MAP)
The Mentor Advantage Program (MAP) provides an innovative, individualized support developed from research on the transition and persistence of postsecondary students with learning disabilities and from self-regulated learning theory. It is designed to create a bridge to academic regulation in the college environment. The program is composed of the following elements: strategic content tutoring, organizational mentoring, and day-time and evening check-in. The student enrolled in the Mentor Advantage Program will meet with professional tutoring staff several hours each week to organize and carry out coursework preparation. The strategic content tutoring sessions focus on the student learning the content and managing the pace of specific coursework. The organizational strategy sessions will train the student to develop, continue, and adapt overarching plans for the semester. Together, day-time and evening check-in provides enrolled students with structured study times and access to a professional tutor 12.5 hours per day in a specified Learning Center study area. Those interested in participating in this program should contact the Director of the Learning Center.
Day-Time and Evening Check-In Program
In the Day-time and Evening Check-In program, a professional tutor will be on duty to provide organizational and academic support between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM on Friday in our Mentor Advantage study area while the College is in session. When students sign in to this area, they may:
- Make or revise to-do lists for the day or week.
- Get started on school work before the first class.
- Work on assignments and readings between classes.
- Review for quizzes and tests.
Students may sign up for this program on a semester-by-semester basis, in keeping with our usual advising process.
College Study Strategies Class
The College Study Strategies class (COLL-104) is designed to assist with the academic adjustment to the college setting. Comprehensive Advisors provide conferencing to help students systematically prepare for graduate school entrance examinations. Students may sign up for a meeting to request support in planning out practice tests, analyzing mistakes, and designing a study plan for subsequent practice tests.
Walk-In Peer Tutoring Program
Walk-In Tutoring is a peer-tutoring program certified Level I by the College Reading and Learning Association and sponsored by the Learning Center. It provides faculty-recommended tutors who are trained and supervised to assist students with the goal of promoting independence in learning.
Walk-In Tutoring offers help for students in courses offered by many of the academic departments. Tutors can help students: understand how to complete homework and other assignments, determine how and what to study, figure out professor expectations, etc. Students who would like assistance can attend one of the regularly scheduled tutoring sessions offered on a walk-in basis.
Students who need help with a course in a department not listed on the tutoring schedule can contact the Tutor Supervisor. The Tutor Supervisor will organize a study group for that particular course.
- Study Strategies – COLL-104 / 1 credit – offered both 1st and 2nd quarters – College Study Strategies is designed to help students make the academic adjustment to college life. The small group structure of the course enables the instructors from the Learning Center to assist students with differing needs. In this class, students will: 1) develop a working knowledge of the information processing model of memory, 2) demonstrate an understanding of personal learning style, 3) choose effective academic strategies to understand and remember information associated with current academic course work, 4) learn to monitor academic progress, 5) develop an awareness of personal reasons for attending college.
- Tutor Training Level 1 – COLL-109 / 1 credit – Prerequisites: cumulative B average and Tutor Supervisor permission – Tutor Training Level 1 instructs capable students to become effective tutors. The training is founded upon the principle of facilitating the academic independence of students who use the tutoring service. The class emphasizes tutor guidelines, goals, responsibilities/roles, and strategies appropriate for the tutorial session. This one-quarter course is among the requirements for students preparing to tutor in the Learning Center’s tutoring program. It has been designed to meet the tutor program certification criteria through the College Reading and Learning Association.
- Grad School Test Prep – COLL-305 / 1 credit – Must be junior or senior – Grad School Test Prep helps students systematically prepare for graduate school entrance examinations. This class instructs students in planning to take practice tests, analyzing mistakes, and designing a study plan for subsequent practice tests.
The Lindamood-Bell® Learning Approach
West Virginia Wesleyan College has the unusual capability of providing clinical language processing intervention by using the Lindamood-Bell® Learning approach with a concentrated focus on the needs of the post-secondary student population. Our professional staff members teach within the context of multisensory structured language education. Wesleyan’s Learning Center has used the instructional techniques of Lindamood-Bell® to help students improve their language processing since 1992. Test scores and enhanced academic performance have validated a record of success with our students. Clinical instruction in phonemic awareness, comprehension skills, and application to course work has provided a foundation for making the necessary transition from high school courses to a college-level curriculum. Pre-testing results determine instructional placement. The initial phase of instruction consists of daily one-on-one clinical sessions. Post-testing is completed at significant points during the student’s enrollment. The advanced phase provides instruction in strategies applicable to specific courses within each student’s academic program. Those interested in receiving instruction in this technique should contact the Director of the Learning Center.
Our students continue and/or taper down the number of hours enrolled in the optional programs as they progress through Wesleyan’s curriculum.
Learning Center Outcomes
Study Strategy Gains
Students enrolling in the College Study Strategies class will report improved knowledge and skills for college level study.
Walk-In Tutoring Satisfaction
Students attending Walk-In Tutoring will express satisfaction with assistance given during the tutoring session, direction and purpose given for future study, and the tutor’s helping attitude.
Student Satisfaction with Services
Students enrolled in the structured support program for students with learning disabilities will express satisfaction with the support and services set up to provide academic assistance and accommodations.
Academic “good standing”
Students enrolled in the structured support program for students with learning disabilities will maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.
Language Processing Gains
Students enrolled in the Learning Center program using Lindamood-Bell®* methods will improve their ability to decode and encode written symbols and improve their receptive and expressive oral and written language comprehension.
Mentor Advantage Satisfaction/Effectiveness
Students enrolled in one-to-one professional mentoring through the Learning Center’s Mentor Advantage Program will report satisfaction with the support received in guiding future study outside of the mentoring session, in developing and strengthening a repertoire of academic strategies, and in organizing coursework by forming a systemized approach that works for the student (an academic work plan, strategies to complete coursework, and an individualized system to stay organized).
Request Electronic Books
Students’ accommodations may include alternate text format. These are electronic texts that make reading and studying accessible through the use of electronic devices and computer software. All students working with the Learning Center are welcome to use alternate text formats. Some students are qualified, based on the nature of their disability, to request a digital copy of their textbook. Students must check with their Comprehensive Advisor to confirm this qualification. Click the link below to request electronic books.
*Students are required to purchase a hard copy of their textbook in addition to requesting a digital copy. It is the students’ responsibility to provide the Learning Center’s Technology Coordinator with a copy of the receipt(s) that includes the date of purchase and price of the textbooks.
Meet Our Staff
Anita Dib: M.A.
Director of the Learning Center, Tutoring System
room: Haymond 215D
Anita is a West Virginia native who lives in Barbour County; she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Alderson Broaddus College, double majoring in Political Science and Speech/Communications. In 1995, she furthered her education with a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education from West Virginia University. Anita spent more than 15 years teaching in the public school system in classrooms for students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and mild impairments. Her interests include gardening, kayaking, genealogy, and cooking. Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Teresa Buckner: B.A.
Lead Mentor, Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
room: Haymond 208
Teresa graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in university studies. She has worked in the Mentor Advantage Program as an organizational mentor and strategic content tutor since the program was developed in 2007. Her professional background includes work in the accounting field and in the hospitality industry. Teresa is active in the community, supporting her children in activities including sports and 4H.
Susan Mendicino: M.S., CCC-SLP
Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
room: Haymond 206
Susan Mendicino grew up in California, PA where she attended California University of Pennsylvania for both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Pathology. She earned her national certification in 1991. After working as a speech pathologist in Delaware for one year, Susan and her husband Michael moved to Buckhannon, WV. Susan worked as a speech pathologist in the Upshur County Schools for 32 years, retiring in September 2013. She began work at the Learning Center in August 2014. Susan has two grown daughters and three grandchildren (one set of twins). She loves animals, working out, and baking.
Alexander Bradley-Popovich: B.S.
Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
Alex graduated from Bridgeport High School in 2016 and completed his B.S. in applied physics at WVWC in 2020 with minors in mathematics and political science. He spent a summer term at Charles University in Prague and separately participated in two overseas trips with WVWC. Alex plans to continue his education in the near future.
Bill Pastorius: M.A.
Coordinator of Lindamood-Bell®* Methods
room: Haymond 218
Bill earned both of his degrees from West Virginia University – he completed his Bachelor of Science in Education (Secondary English specialization) in 1996 and Master of Arts in Reading, 2003. He taught English at Frankfort High School for 5 years, before moving to Johnson City while his wife did research at East Tennessee State University. After the birth of his daughter in 2009, Bill moved back home to West Virginia and began working as a reading clinician here at Wesleyan’s Learning Center in May of 2010. He has been the Coordinator of Lindamood Bell®* Methods program since August 2011.
Lynda Halverson-Selan: M.A.
Comprehensive Advisor, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Tutoring System
room: Haymond 215C
Lynda Selan first moved to Buckhannon when her mother started to teach Food Science and Nutrition at WVWC in 1970. She earned her B.S. in Art & Design from MIT and worked as an architectural designer. She returned to school for a career change and earned M.A. degrees in elementary and special education. She has worked as a volunteer and as a paid professional with pre-school through college level students. She has a passion to help people succeed and to teach the public that differences are good and necessary for the success of our society. Lynda and her husband, Greg, who has recently retired, have raised 4 sons and a daughter, all adults now, and enjoy continuing to learn and to share, especially with their grandchildren.
Angela McCallister: M.A., LSW
Comprehensive Advisor, Tutoring System
room: Haymond 206
Angela is from Greenbrier County West Virginia, now living in Buckhannon. She received her BA in Sociology, with minors in psychology and social work from Concord University. She has also earned a MA in Counseling and a MA in Special Education including certifications for Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Disorders, Mental Impairments and Autism from Marshall University. She is a Licensed Social Worker. Angela has spent the last 16 years working in the public school system as an elementary special education teacher in Greenbrier County. Her professional background includes working as a teacher in the Federal Prison System, and as a counselor in a Mental Health Facility. She is very active in her church and community. Her hobbies include anything outdoors, cooking/nutrition, reading, physical fitness, and watching baseball.
Elizabeth Leigh: M.B.A.
Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
room: Haymond 206
Betsy Leigh earned her undergraduate degree in Family Resources and her M.B.A. from West Virginia University She became a stay-home mom when her daughter was born in 1993; her son was born twenty-two months later. In 2002, her children’s elementary school principal suggested Betsy become a substitute teacher. Since that time, Betsy has enjoyed working for the Upshur County (West Virginia) school system, substitute-teaching all grades and subjects until starting at The Learning Center in 2014.
Betsy lives in Buckhannon with her husband, children, and four cats. She is a board member for Brushstroke Ministries and serves on the Breath of God Worship Ministry team. Her favorite thing to do is to sing, especially low harmony for both ministries’ worship teams.
Brooke Scott: M.A.
Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
room: Haymond 207
Brooke Scott is a recently retired educator who taught in the Upshur County (West Virginia) school system for 34 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Morehead State University (Kentucky) in Special Education with a graduate degree in Educational Administration from West Virginia University. She taught in the area of elementary learning disabilities for 27 years before completing her career in the first grade classroom.
Brooke is an assistant leader in 4-H and volunteers for various animal rescue organizations. For several years she and her husband showed basset hounds in the ring and in field competition. Now they own and love rescue greyhounds. Brooke loves being outdoors, hiking, traveling, and reading. Presently she is working on obtaining her Master Naturalist certification.
Jess Johnson: B.S:
Strategic Content and Organizational Tutor
Jess grew up in Summersville, West Virginia and now resides in Elkins. Jess earned a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Missouri. By using accommodations like those offered at The Learning Center, Jess was able to be successful in college. Jess has a passion for working with young people. Jess volunteered facilitating a support group for young adults who live with mental illness, completed a practicum at a transitional living program for transition age youth, and most recently provided programming for high schoolers at Elkins-Randolph County Public Library. Past notable job experiences for Jess were working as a peer specialist using Jess’s own experience with mental illnesses to help others, training peer specialists from across Missouri, and being a teacher’s aide in two different Montessori early learning centers.
Kathy Cox-Chapman: M.A.
Kathy Cox-Chapman grew up in Comfort, WV located in Boone County. She attained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Fairmont State. She earned her master’s degree as a Reading Specialist at Marshall University while teaching in the public school system. Kathy taught in public schools for 33 years, retiring in 2012. During her teaching career, she taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Following retirement, she worked in the LBP program at the WVWC Learning Center from August 2013 through December 2015. Since leaving WVWC, she has been employed with Upshur County Schools as a substitute teacher. She enjoys reading, cooking, working outdoors, and spending time with friends. We are so glad that Kathy has joined our LBP reading team again!
Paula Strawder: M.S.
Test Lab Supervisor
Paula Strawder was born and raised in Buckhannon and she graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1999. She attended Marshall University where she received a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences and a M.A. in Adult Education. Paula then moved to Parkersburg WV where she resided for 10 years. Paula worked for the WVU Extension Service as the Families and Health Extension Agent and was a high school teacher where she taught family and consumer science. After being away from home for way too long she is very happy to be living in Buckhannon again! She enjoys reading and cooking. She loves spending time with her toddler nephew with whom she lives.
Robin Belknap: A.A.
Test Lab Coordinator
Robin was raised in Gassaway, West Virginia and moved to Buckhannon at the age of sixteen. Upon completing high school, Robin earned an Associates’ Degree from Frederick Community College in Office Technology. She returned to Buckhannon in the mid 1990s, was hired by the Learning Center as the Test Lab Coordinator, and worked as a columnist for The Record Delta newspaper. After five years, she was promoted to Administrative Assistant. Robin has taken many post associates’ degree classes in music and art. She continues to practice keyboard, voice, and is learning Spanish. Robin published a novel in 2005, and is still an avid writer.
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