Established in 2001, the Hesse Learning Resource Center (Hesse Center) advances the vision of Herman Hesse, who served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1949 until 1965. Hesse and his wife, Helen, bequeathed the funding necessary to establish the center, recognizing the impact it would have on recruitment, retention, and overall student success in engineering.
“In line with the mission of the University, the Hesse Center encourages students to seek their vocation and to give back to others,” says Laura Sanders, assistant dean for student success and director of the Hesse Center. “I have a personal love for tutoring and academic support. And, this is a place that fosters a love for teaching and helping others.”
As an academic support program focused solely on engineering and housed in a comprehensive University, the Hesse Center is unique. While its doors are open to anyone enrolled in a course in the engineering program, its impact is strongest within the College of Engineering, serving an estimated 75 percent of all engineering students.
“The availability and competence of the Hesse Center tutors is unparalleled by any other student aid on campus,” Chet Joslyn ’17, mechanical engineering major, says. “Through the Hesse Center, I have been provided resources critical to my success as a student.”
At the core of the Hesse Center lies the Hesse Scholars, peer tutors awarded a scholarship stipend package in exchange for five service hours per week in tutoring. Since the first class of Hesse Scholars was introduced in 2002, the Hesse Scholars have more than doubled in size to nearly 50. Each Scholar is required to complete 10 hours of basic tutor training, with additional, enhanced training also available. Looking to elevate its program even further, the Hesse Center is currently in the process of obtaining certification in tutor training.
“Being a Hesse Scholar has meant a lot to me, as it allows me to give back to my fellow students,” Jenna Meert ’19, civil engineering major, says. “When I get the opportunity to teach a student, not only do they learn, but I gain a deeper understanding of the material as well. The mutually beneficial partnership that the Hesse Center enables is remarkable.”
With one-on-one, group, walk-in, and personalized tutoring available, the center provides numerous services, including academic coaching, study-skill advising, and technical writing assistance. From students previously on academic probation becoming successful graduates to former Scholars becoming professors at well-respected universities, the influence of the Hesse Center is evident.
Embracing the core values of the University, the Hesse Center is the perfect example of leadership and service in action. “It is the nexus between service, understanding, fun, and leadership in the College of Engineering,” Ryan Eveler ’17, mechanical engineering major, says.
Celebrating 15 years of the Hesse Center grants us the opportunity to reflect on the rich history of the center, to recognize hundreds of Hesse Scholars, and to envision a bright future. There will be a celebration of the center during the College of Engineering 2017 Homecoming Open House on Saturday, September 30.