Academic Resource Center at UMO Promotes Learning

Academic Resource Center at UMO Promotes Learning

MOUNT OLIVE – Dr. Regina Stone-Hernandez, assistant professor of education, is on a mission to help the students of the University of Mount Olive. She wants students to take responsibility for their own education, and she is offering the tools to allow them to do so through the Academic Resource Center (ARC). During the past few semesters, she has developed numerous programs and clinics for students to utilize in order to learn effectively at the University. She hopes that with the continual aid available through the ARC, students can confidently receive a college degree and ultimately career opportunities.

The ARC originated through the help of the UMO Education Department. Dr. Tommy Benson, chair of the Education Department, works hand-in-hand with Stone-Hernandez to promote higher education at UMO. “Several years ago I realized that we needed to provide support for our learners outside of the regular classroom, but I hadn’t done anything with that thought. Then along came Regina that gave arms, feet, legs, arms, tooth, and nail to the idea. She has taken and developed the ARC into a resource much grander than I had ever imagined. We owe the thanks to her,” said Dr. Benson.

There’s no doubt that the ARC has grown tremendously and become a pivotal part of the education process at UMO. Currently, the ARC provides Supplemental Instruction (SI), crisis support, reading groups, Learning Accountability Program (LAP), Guided Collaborative Learning (GCL), and clinics to engage students in collaborative and group oriented learning spaces. One-on-one tutoring is also available at the ARC if the student needs an individualized approach. The different programs are geared toward students who need help in challenging courses and for students who are at risk learners.

“We’ve talked to so many kids today, and so many of them don’t know what it means to learn,” said Stone-Hernandez. “They never have been conditioned or challenged. The classroom settings have not been environments for learning. They have been in classroom environments for replicating and they replicate the answer that the teacher gives to you. The idea of 21st century instruction gives us the goal of having life-long learners, and that’s what I am promoting with the help of my tutors, peer leaders, and the Education Department.”

Recently, the ARC has been holding math clinics to aid the students in algebra courses. The clinics are held on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 11PM with one skilled, trained math tutor.  The tutor is there to answer critical content questions, but the students are encouraged to assist each other in comprehending the course material. “We are scaffolding the instruction down at the ARC, particularly in the Math Department. This way, students have six ways of learning. They have the textbook, HAWKS homework, the classroom experience, SI, the math clinic, and specialized one-on-one tutoring. UMO has opened up its finances and time to promote student success. Not a lot of universities are making this kind of investment to ensure that students have a variety of ways to learn,” said Stone-Hernandez.

Needless to say, the ARC is having a positive effect on education throughout the entire institution. The programs and tutoring are available for courses ranging from math, English, psychology, history, science, business, and music.

“The ARC is developing a sense of community. As a part of the Christian ethic, we are here to support one another in the educational process. We are all here to work together and to help each other. Faculty are helping faculty and students are helping students. It’s starting with the ARC,” noted Benson.

The tutors and peer leaders are benefiting from the experience at the ARC as well.

“They are getting hands on experience, and it’s a resume builder,” said Benson. “I think it is a real positive that these leaders can go for an interview and have already learned about teaching, whether they are an education major or not, because so many jobs require you to work with people. They’re gaining the ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively. Last year, five senior math education majors worked as Peer Academic Leaders for SI, and all five students found jobs immediately, some even before they graduated.”

Even though so many advancements and successes are happening every day in the ARC, Dr. Stone-Hernandez is still hoping to further expand the idea of the ARC.

“The ARC is evoking practical learning. We are applying learning. This is where learning becomes concrete, and we are very grateful for the support that we’ve gotten from the faculty, the administration, the dean, the president, and most importantly our student workers. Without their support, none of this would have happened. Our future goal is to make our resources university-wide and to take the ARC to the next stage and make it virtual for the learners across the board. We want to promote learning for the entire student body at UMO.”

For more information about the opportunities available at the ARC, please contact Dr. Stone-Hernandez by email at

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit

Student receiving help from Jared Miller at the UMO Math Clinic on Tuesday nights.

Students taking notes during a Supplemental Instruction session.

Supplemental instruction leader Jessica Kennedy working with a group of students from English 110.