USC Kortschak Center For Learning and Creativity


Question and Answer:

How can a professor refer a student to the Kortschak Center for learning support? Have the student make an appointment with our office. Please fill out the form on our website, email, or call (213)740-7884. The Kortschak Center is open Monday – Friday, 8:30AM-5:00PM.

How can a professor best motivate not only those students who learn differently, but all students? By creating a dynamic, interactive, warm, open, caring, flexible and supportive classroom.  Presenting material from a student’s learning perspective and not necessarily the professor’s preferred teaching style can assist greatly.  Straight lecture can work part of the time but a multi-modal approach works most of the time by bringing material alive.  Accepting regular feedback from the class provides professors with insight into teaching effectiveness.  All students at USC are capable.  They simply need to gain motivation and insight into their learning by professors who provide options for acquiring knowledge and displaying knowledge.

What are the best ways to assess student learning and provide a more supportive and flexible classroom? It depends on the student because we all have our best ways for acquiring and retaining information.  Therefore, ideally, there should be options that allow students to really show what they know whether that be through papers, oral exams, field-trips, presentations, essay exams, multiple-choice, projects, group-work, community involvement, interviews, film-making, and so forth.  Some of the brightest students may be unable to display their knowledge if there is only one way of evaluation.  Professor’s notes should be posted, videos captioned, review sessions offered with emphasis on checking for understanding and student engagement.

How can the Kortschak Center assist students academically? Primarily through Academic Coaches, assistive technology, and study space.  Many students develop their time management and organizational skills, note-taking and study skills through their work with Academic Coaches.  Structure and accountability help keep a number of students on track. The Kortschak Center assists students in discovering and mastering their strengths to their academic advantage.

Does the Kortschak Center do outreach? Yes.  Personnel from the Kortschak Center can visit classes to present on topics such as note-taking, study skills, time-management, goal setting, and organization. Please visit the Off-Site Outreach Page for more information.

What if a student has a learning difference associated with a disability? If a student has a documented disability and needs in-class accommodations, they must currently be registered with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) and provide an accommodation letter which outlines their accommodations.  The most common disability accommodations professors work with are extra time on exams and class notes. Upon receiving an accommodation letter from the student, professors must discuss in a confidential manner the needs of each student and how accommodations will be provided. For note-taking, it is ideal that professors post their notes; this not only assists students with disabilities, but makes learning more accessible to all students.