The CARE (Center for Academic Resources in Engineering) Program at Illinois
2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
The Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, in conjunction with the College of Engineering (COE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has established, within the Library, the CARE (Center for Academic Resources in Engineering) program. CARE is designed to enhance the student academic experience in a variety of ways and to better integrate the Grainger Engineering Library into the day-to-day lives of engineering students. The overarching goal is to provide enhanced student
... academic services, increase engineering student retention rates, provide peer mentoring and focused instructional assistance, provide increased contact with teaching assistants (TA), give students advanced collaborative resources and facilities, and better integrate the Grainger Engineering Library services with student needs. The Grainger Library has repurposed 3,966 feet of classroom and group study space, and 14,550 square feet of open study space to establish CARE. The space includes 14 group study rooms, 2 instructional classrooms, 2 storage rooms, and 1 office utilized by the CARE Program Coordinator --who is funded by the COE. CARE was initially funded by a combination of Library Student/IT Fee money, COE Student Fee funds, and COE foundation moneys. These funds were used for high-end engineering workstation equipment, projection equipment, furniture, digital signage, glass and whiteboard equipment, collaboration furniture, and computing equipment. The total seating capacity for the CARE area in the Grainger Library is 472 with an additional 154 seats available for overflow. CARE provides academic learning support that primarily targets the needs of first-and second-year students enrolled in the COE. CARE offers peer mentoring and tutoring, study and instructional programs (including information literacy instruction), health and wellness programs, and collaborative and formal study group activities. CARE also offers course exam reviews, TA and faculty office hours, and periodic workshops in a variety of support areas. The CARE space and programs have been available to students since the beginning of the Fall semester, 2011. CARE employs more than 40 students as tutors and peer advisors that offer their tutoring/advising services for over 30 different subjects, from noon to midnight Sunday through Friday. A number of techniques are being used to assess the efficacy of the CARE program. Since the Fall semester of 2011, a preliminary study of data obtained from visual head counts of students on the fourth floor shows usage of the library space repurposed for CARE has increased 12.22% between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012, and 5.04% between Fall 2012 and Fall 2013. Likewise, wireless computing use, gate counts, and engineering workstation usage in the building is being monitored and all show significant increases. Some preliminary data on increases in freshmen retention rates is also reported.