Mission and History of the MSRC

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Math & Science Resource Center is to support the academic success of John Jay students in science and mathematics and to foster their development as active, independent learners. The core of the MSRC is its tutoring program, available to students enrolled in covered courses in the Department of Sciences and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, with a special emphasis on students in the Forensic Science major. Tutoring is also available for conditionally admitted students participating in John Jay programs to earn a testing pass for skills certification in mathematics. 

HISTORY

The Math & Science Resource Center is located in room 01.94 in the New Building.  Originally called the Math Resource Center, the MSRC was originally located in room 4300 in North Hall and was used as a drop-in math tutoring lab beginning in the mid-1980s.  In 1999, the Department of Sciences obtained MSEIP grant funding to launch a peer mentoring program to provide peer advisement and content tutoring to freshmen and sophomores in the Forensic Science major.  In 2001, the science peer mentoring program was relocated to 4300N, where it was housed alongside the existing drop-in math lab.  The name of the facility was changed to the Math & Science Resource Center.  In 2004, funding for the continuation of the science peer mentoring program was obtained through a Title V grant, which included funding for a half-time administrator to help organize and maintain the program.

In 2007, the math tutoring and science tutoring/mentoring programs were combined to form a single program under the Office of Undergraduate Studies.  A full-time coordinator was hired to oversee the Math & Science Resource Center using funds originating from the CUNY Compact.  That summer, significant further renovations took place, primarily using furniture and equipment from the college's existing inventory.  These renovations created a reception desk, tutoring area, study tables, and office space for the coordinator.  The following fall, the center adopted the use of TutorTrac and transitioned to an appointment-based, small-group tutoring format.  The center’s existing collection of textbooks and models was expanded and converted into a lending library.

Beginning in 2001, the north half of 4300N slowly transformed into an academic computing lab with the purchase of groups of computers using grant money obtained by both the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Sciences.  However, with little funding available to maintain the lab, the equipment became obsolete.   In 2007, the Office of Instructional Technology Support Services (ITSS) agreed to take over maintenance of the computer lab using funds from the Student Technology Fee.   In the summer of 2008, ITSS installed 24 brand new computers with full internet access and a network printer.  The MSRC computer lab is unlike any other on campus, running both Windows XP and Linux operating systems and featuring a range of software packages specific to math and science.  

In October, 2009, the Math Preparation Center (MPC, formerly known as the Learning Enhancement Center) was relocated from the Westport Building to room 4003N, just across the hall from the MSRC.  The two centers merged, eliminating duplication of effort and allowing for certain economies of scale.  The staff currently comprises a director, two coordinators, 25-30 tutors, and 10-15 Federal Work Study receptionists.  In October, 2011, the MSRC moved to its current location in room 01.94 NB.  The new MSRC comprises three separate student spaces:  an expanded, 30-seat computer lab for students, a single tutoring room with nine tables to serve up to 18 students per hour, and a separate workshop room which available to students for quiet study when no workshops are in session. 

Today, the Math & Science Resource Center remains a unique facility serving a variety of purposes for both students and faculty in math and science.  Student use of the center continues to increase steadily each year.  Currently, about 1800 students per year participate in tutoring, attending nearly 10,000 sessions anually, with many others using the computer lab, study room, and resource library.  

  

Last updated 03/29/2013