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Third-Level Specialised Support Centres- Their impact on student success.

Author Martina Naughton, Nuala Curley, Joe Carthy and Tahar Kechadi,
Abstract The Mathematics Support Centre (MSC) was opened in 2004 by the School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin (UCD) to provide additional support to third level students with mathematical related issues. Motivated largely by the success of this centre, the Computer Science Support Centre (CPSC) was established by the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics in September 2008, in order to provide a friendly atmosphere where students can voluntarily seek assistance with Computer Science (CS) related difficulties. In this paper, we examine the ability of the MSC and the CPSC to support students who struggle with Mathematics and CS related difficulties at university. In particular, we compare the usage statistics of both centres. We also describe how students perceive the centres by examining and comparing their practices. In addition, we provide details about how the centres operate, focusing in particular on the services they provide to students and their resource usage. Finally, we examine the effectiveness of such centres in aiding students understanding of the fundamentals in CS and Mathematics.
Keywords Third-level education, Support Centre, Mathematics, Computer Science
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2010
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