In 1984, Angela Williams, an adjunct instructor in the English department began The Writing Center in order to reduce the more than 50% fail rate in English 101. With the help from Peyton Galloway, class of 1967, enough funding was secured to start the Center. Initially, the Center consisted of one classroom in Capers Hall with Angela Williams acting as the Director and tutor along with two graduate assistants as tutors. From the beginning, The Writing Center has been independent of the English Department. In 1985, one year after opening, the Center staff noticed that students needed assistance with more than just writing, so learning strategies appointments were added, and an additional room in Capers was used for these appointments as well as for computer use. This was the first computer lab on campus.
As the number of appointments increased, the Center hired an additional graduate student tutor and a handful of cadet tutors as well. Then, in 2001, the Center grew to the point where it needed a new space. It also began offering ESL tutoring to international cadets. At that time, Chris Fudge became the Director, and the Center was moved to Thompson Hall, a location that included a computer lab. In 2003, the Math Lab occupied space in the Center with Jeff Ragan as the coordinator, and the online writing program was piloted. In 2005, the name was changed to the Writing and Learning Center as learning strategies appointments equaled writing strategies appointments. Then in fall of 2007, subject-area tutorials were added to the services that the Center offered, and in the spring of 2010, the Supplemental Instruction Program officially began as a pilot program funded through the Citadel Strategic Plan.
In the summer of 2009, the Writing and Learning Center began undergoing the process of merging with the Office of Access Services and Instructional Support, the result being that all tutoring and academic support was housed under one roof. At that time, Dr. Jane Warner became the Director, and the Center was renamed The Academic Support Center. Since that time, the Center has continued to expand and to add new services. The Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program officially became a non-pilot program in the fall of 2011 and has been continually funded through the Strategic Plan. Once again, an Online Writing Lab is being piloted during 2011.
Throughout its existence, the Center has upheld its mission and goals by providing access to highly capable staff members who are trained according to the standards set forth by the College Reading and Learning Association as well as the International Center for Supplemental Instruction. The Center is certified to provide Master/Level 3 CRLA certification to its tutors, and the Center’s SI Coordinator has attended SI Supervisor Training at the International Center at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.