Resources & Facilities

Center for Learning and Teaching

Bowdoin College’s Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) houses a group of programs that support learning and teaching throughout the curriculum. The programs offer writing assistance, peer tutoring, academic mentoring, study groups, and support for multilingual students. The programs are housed in Kanbar Hall, Room 102, and work cooperatively to enhance Bowdoin’s curricular resources and to strengthen students’ academic experience. The programs are described below.

Faculty and staff may individually consult with a CLT staff member on any topic related to teaching and learning at the College. Intentional Pedagogy workshops are offered for faculty to engage with the scholarship of teaching and learning. Other workshops and lunch seminars on topics related to teaching and learning at Bowdoin are offered monthly during the semester. Book groups allow faculty and staff to engage substantively with topics such as stereotype threat (Whistling Vivaldi) and academic resilience (Grit), as well as more pedagogical focused themes from Teaching Across Cultural Strengths and The Spark of Learning. Community conversations are facilitated by the CLT through a series of Bear in Mind dialogues that grapple with issues such as implicit bias and imposter syndrome, bringing together diverse stakeholders to both raise awareness and strategize on ways to improve campus climate and inclusive excellence. The Teaching Triangles program provides faculty an opportunity to gain new insight into their teaching and students’ learning through a non-evaluative, formative process of reciprocal classroom visits and reflection. Guest speakers deepen understanding of topics essential to effective teaching and learning in higher education. The Faculty Fellows program is a yearlong, immersive experience for faculty in reflective practice on teaching and learning with the specific goal of enhancing equitable and inclusive learning environments for students. Through monthly meetings, workshops, a May institute, and access to funding for teaching innovation, an annual faculty learning community of approximately ten fellows will research and discuss challenges to student learning and explore culturally inclusive pedagogies, all to inform the redesign of a course.

The Baldwin Program for Academic Development

The Baldwin Program for Academic Development opened in 1999–2000 with the mission of creating a space in which students, faculty, and staff members can address issues related to learning at Bowdoin College. Established through a gift to the College by Linda G. Baldwin ’73, the program offers resources to help students attain their academic goals and faculty to enhance student learning.

Based on an individualized and holistic approach to learning, the program offers activities and services such as study skills workshops and individual consultation with peer academic mentors. Mentors help fellow students assess their academic strengths and weaknesses and develop individually tailored time management, organizational, and study strategies. Mentors may be particularly useful to students encountering difficulty balancing the academic and social demands of college life; struggling to find more effective approaches to understanding, learning, and remembering new material; experiencing problems with procrastination; or simply achieving the self-structuring demanded by an independent course or honors project.

Quantitative Reasoning Program

The Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Program was established in 1996 to assist with the integration of quantitative reasoning throughout the curriculum and to encourage students to develop competence and confidence in using quantitative information. The program was established in recognition of the increasing demand to understand and use quantitative information in college-level work, in employment situations, and for effective citizenship.

The QR Program assists students in a variety of ways. Entering students are tested to assess their proficiency with quantitative material. Utilizing the test results and other indicators, the director of Quantitative Reasoning and faculty advisors counsel students regarding appropriate courses to fulfill their Mathematical, Computational, or Statistical Reasoning (MCSR) distribution requirement, including placement in the Mathematics 1050: Quantitative Reasoning course. In addition, students are encouraged to take courses across the curriculum that enhance their quantitative skills. The QR Program supplements many of the quantitative courses by providing small study groups led by trained peer tutors, as well as drop-in tutoring. Upon the request of instructors, workshops on special topics are also provided by the QR Program. One-on-one tutoring is available on a limited basis.

Writing and Rhetoric Program

Communication takes many forms at Bowdoin. The support that we offer for writers and speakers is equally diverse. We understand that there are many ways to communicate, multiple approaches to teaching and writing, and more than one writing process. The Writing and Rhetoric Program offers students and faculty resources to help facilitate more clear and effective communication. Student resources include: ongoing workshops, individual advising and consultations, and feedback and revision strategies for presentations (with options to record presentations).

The Writing Project

The Writing Project is based on the premise that students are uniquely qualified to serve as intelligent, empathetic, and helpful readers of one another’s writing. As collaborators rather than authorities, peer writing assistants facilitate the writing process for fellow students by providing helpful feedback while encouraging writers to retain an active and authoritative role in writing and revising their work. Each semester, the Writing Project assigns specially selected and trained writing assistants to a variety of courses by request of the instructor. The assistants read and comment on early drafts of papers and meet with the writers individually to help them expand and refine their ideas, clarify connections, and improve sentence structure. After revisions have been completed, each student submits a final paper to the instructor along with the draft and the assistant’s comments. Students in any course on campus may also reserve conferences with a writing assistant in the Writing Workshop, open each week from Sunday through Thursday.

Students interested in becoming writing assistants apply before spring break. Those accepted enroll in a fall semester course on the theory and practice of teaching writing, offered through the Department of Education. Successful completion of the course qualifies students to serve as tutors in later semesters, when they receive a stipend for their work.

English for Multilingual Students

Students who are multilingual or who have non-native-English-speaking parents may work individually with the English for Multilingual Students advisor. Students may seek help with understanding assignments and readings and attend to grammar, outlining, revising, and scholarly writing conventions. Specific attention to pronunciation and oral presentation skills is also offered. Any student wishing to make an appointment with the English for Multilingual Students advisor is welcome.

THRIVE Initiative

THRIVE is a college-wide initiative designed to foster achievement, belonging, mentorship, and transition. Historically, many low-income and first-generation students as well as those traditionally underrepresented on college campuses have described their higher education experience as one of survival. This initiative transforms the college experience for these students from merely surviving to thriving. THRIVE comprises a range of undertakings, including academic enrichment, service and leadership development, peer mentoring, and financial support. It draws on best practices for inclusive excellence and fosters innovative curricular and pedagogical approaches to instruction. THRIVE is located in Banister Hall and serves as both a point and place of connection for previously existing academic support programs, including Bowdoin Advising Program in Support of Academic Excellence (BASE), Bowdoin Science Experience (BSE), Bowdoin Science Scholars and Peer Mentoring, as well as the College’s new Geoffrey Canada Scholars Program (GCS).