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NMSU's Center for Learning Assistance celebrates 30th anniversary

New Mexico State University's Center for Learning Assistance will celebrate its 30th year of service with a reception from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10. The reception also will honor 33 years of service from CLA Director Susan C. Brown.

Center for Learning Assistance is a centralized, universitywide academic support service for students from all disciplines and levels of academic standing. Under the CLA are the Athletics Academic Program, the Center for Learning Assistance, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program, Student Support Services and the Upward Bound program. All programs designed for academic excellence.

"All of our programs are places where people can go with a problem," Brown said. "And if we can't help them here, we can point them in the right direction."

The CLA was created by graduate student Karen Smith. She wrote the proposal for the center while she was participating in the Education Professions Development Act Fellowship Program.

"Karen wanted the center to offer drop-in services and assistance to students who needed to learn study skills," Brown said.

The CLA offers various courses including the Freshman Year Experience course, an introduction to the university and the resources available.

Brown described the CLA as being the answer to university students' and faculty members' problems.

"As needs arose, we created different programs. Our job was to assist students to reach their maximum learning potential," she said.

Brown became the director of the CLA in 1988 after Smith retired. Brown is the second director since the center's inception. She began as a graduate assistant working in the center and eventually directed the CLA to encompass the five programs that provide academic support to students.

"In the 13 years that I have known her she has always been so professionally committed to so many people on this campus," said Terry L. Cook, associate director of the CLA. "She's always supported her staff and always has great ideas. Sue is synonymous with the center."

Brown said she was fortunate to have "outstanding and positive people to work with."

Brown is retiring in June. In honor of her years of service to the CLA and NMSU, the Susan C. Brown Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established.

For more information on the celebration contact Cook at (505) 646-3136. For more information on the scholarship fund, contact the NMSU Foundation at (505) 646-1611.

Bianca L. Granado
May 9, 2006