I am a Prospective: Student Parent

The Akin Learning Skills Center
Since 1979, the Akin Learning Skills Center has provided an excellent support program for students with mild to moderate learning differences. One of the first such programs in private schools in the nation, The Akin Learning Skills Center is well-known for providing superb support, while helping all students acquire strong learning and advocacy skills for college and beyond.

The mission of the Akin Learning Center is to provide the individual support and instruction students with learning differences or other academic challenges need in order for them to achieve academic success and independence.

The Goals of the Learning Center:
1.  To help students understand their own learning style
2.  To teach them individual skills and strategies needed to achieve their own academic success
3.  To help them develop confidence in their abilities to become independent learners
4.  To help students develop and practice self-advocacy skills

Students enrolled in the Akin Learning Center will learn the following skills and techniques as needed:
•    Time management
•    Organization
•    Test-taking skills
•    Long and short-term assignment management
•    Writing critically and analytically
•    Memory strategies
•    Retrieval techniques
•    Note-taking skills
•    Reading for content and understanding
•    Accessing assistive technology

Types of assistive technology available to our students:
•    Kurzweil text to speech program
•    Books on CD
•    Inspiration
•    Dragon Naturally Speaking (on their laptops

Managed by full-time Director, Janet Dunn, the Akin Learning Skills Center is staffed by experienced faculty, and is located in its own building on campus. The Center houses seven tutoring rooms, each with its own computer, an additional computer center and a kitchen. In addition the Center offers a library of books on tape and videos, large print books, as well as voice recognition and text-to-speech software.

Students meet with tutors in a one-on-one or one-on-two situation during the regular school day. Students may also study in the Learning Skills Center during the evening study hall hours.

All students enrolled in the Learning Skills Center are mainstreamed into regular college preparatory classes. Occasionally, some students have a reduced course load in the lower levels of the school. The tutors work closely with the classroom teachers to ensure that appropriate accommodations are being offered and learning needs met.

Two Levels of Support
The Akin Learning Skills Center offers two levels of support:
Level I:
      This level requires the student to meet four days a week with his/her tutor. Work is checked daily, extra help is offered and tutors work with the students on organizational and study skills. This level ensures that the student has an adult in his or her life on a daily basis, monitoring academic progress and assignments.
Level II:
    This level requires the student to meet two days a week with his/her tutor and is designed for the student who needs less supervision and tutoring. This level is appropriate for students graduating from Level I and for other students who need to check in with a tutor for help and time management on a less intensive basis.
The program encourages students to ascend through the levels during their time at Kents Hill with the goal of eventually moving out of the Learning Skills Center altogether. These students are taught and have an opportunity to practice self-advocacy skills and techniques in preparation for college.

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