In 2022, the Margaret Mann Academic Resource Center (MARC) will celebrate 10 years of service to the Clarke community. What started as a space for those seeking academic accommodations, writing support, and tutoring has blossomed into a full suite of services that pair students with specialists, peer mentors, study groups, and more.
Located on the second floor of the Nicholas J. Schrup Library, the MARC offers services to all students at Clarke University, from first year through graduate programs. The center supports students, helping them develop and reinforce skills essential to academic success and lifelong learning.
“Services had existed at Clarke previously, but the MARC centralized them in a way that was more accessible to students,” explained Marianne Mauss, Director of Academic Resource and Disability Services. “We’ve been able to develop a holistic approach that gets to the core issue a student might be having. It’s not about completing a specific assignment or task; it’s really about becoming better and thinking about things in a new way.”
Some of the most popular services focus on peer-led initiatives, such as “Study with a Guide” sessions, academic coaching and training, and a peer mentorship program run in collaboration with the office of Engagement and Intercultural Programs. These programs not only help students academically but create dozens of campus employment opportunities, as well.
The reach of the MARC also extends beyond its space in the library. Writing Specialist Aimee Taylor and Learning Specialist Gina Burkart frequently partner with faculty to perform classroom visits and outreach to campus athletic teams. This also includes making MARC services available online through chats, email, virtual meetings, and more.
“We’ve worked hard to build relationships all over campus and that’s reflected in how our services and approaches have expanded in the last 10 years. Faculty are wonderful about referring students to our services and our main objective is always to meet students where they are,” said Taylor.
Having built their virtual services over the last several years, the MARC was also quick to adapt to COVID-19. Even as in-person classes resumed, virtual options remained popular. In 2021, MARC staff served almost 70 percent of the university student population, including graduate and undergraduate students, through roughly 5,000 online meetings.
As the MARC continues to grow, they hope to expand their services to support non-traditional students, like those enrolled in CareerPLUS and the Bachelor of Applied Studies programs, while continuously improving their current offerings.
If you’d like to support the MARC and other student support services at Clarke, contact email@example.com.