Enhancing academic success

The Center for Innovative Learning (CIL) houses the Academic Success Program, providing students resources promoting academic success. In addition to academic coaching provided to students in individual and small group settings, the CIL offers workshops to students and faculty on issues ranging from organization and time management, to assisting faculty with developing innovative pedagogies designed to enhance the learning of divergent thinkers and the effective use of emerging technologies. The Center collaborates with academic departments and faculty to provide a centralized location for information and resources needed to foster learning and improve academic functioning.

Under the management of the CIL’s Director of Academic Programs and Research, the CIL also conducts an ongoing program of original research to advance knowledge of executive functioning in young adults, divergent learning styles and creative cognition.

When fully implemented, the CIL will provide a state-of-the-art facility that is equipped with advanced learning technology as well as a coordinated set of personal and academic support services. The vision of The Center is to draw together, in creative synergism, both existing and new programs and resources to create a nexus of services that allows students and faculty to gain the skills necessary to enhance academic and personal functioning.

Visit CIL to see what The Center can do for you!

Brown Hall Room 101
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

What we do, and how we can help

The Center for Innovative Learning provides academic support services to enhance the lives and academic success of all Eckerd students. The Center provides support and services related to:

  • academic coaching
  • enhanced study skills
  • time management and organizational abilities training
  • improved test taking skills
  • managing stress effectively

The Center also provides referrals to academic support services throughout campus, including:

  • The Writing Center
  • The Rahall Communications Lab
  • The Office of Career Planning and Applied Learning
  • Accessible Education Services
  • Course-specific tutoring
Professor Spohrer in the Writing Center with students

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching provides students with the opportunity to work individually and in small groups with trained academic coaches and peer mentors to enhance their academic skills, gain confidence, discover motivations, and improve performance.

Common Goals

  • Identify and work through obstacles getting in the way of academic success
  • Develop study skills and habits necessary to be a successful college student
  • Get motivated and stop procrastinating
  • Prepare for tests and reduce anxiety
  • Establish a balance between academic rigor and extracurricular activities
  • Improve time management skills
  • Learn the importance of making notes and acquire the “how to”
  • Develop short and long term goals for success
  • Learn self-discipline, self-motivation and self-efficacy

Academic Success Workshops

The following workshops will be offered to students during the Fall Semester, 2015. RSVPs are not necessary. Pick the workshop you want to attend and just show up! Workshops are held on selected Wednesdays from 2 – 2:50 p.m.

Test-taking for Those Who Hate Tests

Your Syllabus is a Party Invitation!
September 9, 2015

Location: Brown 103

Why look at a party invitation? Well, how else will you know when and where to show up? What to bring? What to wear?  How to be prepared, etc.? The class is the party and your syllabus is the invitation! Learn more about the importance of a syllabus and how to use it to maximize your performance and budget your time.

Mid-term Exam Survival Study Skills

Test-taking for Those Who Hate Tests
September 23, 2015
Location: Brown 103

Discover tips to successful test-taking. Master the art of taking a multiple choice test. Learn the secrets – they’re not what you think! Avoid the common pitfalls in answering short-answer and essay questions. A psychology professor spills her secrets – you don’t want to miss this!

Get Smart with Your Smartphone: Apps for College Success

Get Smart with Your Smartphone: Apps for College Success
October 21, 2015
Location: Franklin-Templeton 210

Discover apps for success & share your ideas! This interactive workshop is fun and informative- and you’ll get to use your phone in class!

``Your Brain on Blueberries``

“Your Brain on Blueberries”
November 4, 2015
Location: Brown 103

Your brain thrives under the right conditions. Sure, sleep & nutrition are important, but how much sleep and food do you really need? Explore the role of sleep on memory consolidation; the surprising foods that are actually brain boosters, and the link between exercise, mental health, & intelligence.

Test-taking for Those Who Still Hate Tests

Test-taking for Those Who Still Hate Tests (encore)
December 2, 2015
Location: Brown 103

Discover tips to successful test-taking. Master the art of taking a multiple choice test. Learn the secrets- they’re not what you think! Avoid the common pitfalls in answering short-answer and essay questions. A psychology professor spills her secrets – you don’t want to miss this!

Peer Mentoring

The Peer Mentoring program is designed to facilitate the first-year transition for incoming students, and to assist all students with enhancing their academic success strategies. A peer mentor is assigned to each section of Autumn Term and works closely with the students and faculty to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college by assisting in registration, offering time management and organizational skills workshops, and organizing community building programs and activities.

Trained by the academic coaches in time management and organizational strategies, the peer mentors also assist students with developing better skills in these areas.

Peer Tutoring

Peer tutoring is available in many subjects, including Quantitative Sciences/Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Computer Science, Behavioral Sciences, Communications, and Foreign Language.

See Tutoring Schedule

Tutoring schedules and classes change throughout the semester, so check back frequently for updated information.

Quick view

Not finding what you need on-campus? Check out the Tutor Matching Service and see if you can find an inexpensive, off-campus tutor who might be able to help.

Tutor Matching Service

Interested in tutoring? The Tutor Matching Service can help you set up a free profile to help advertise your services to others.

Meet the Staff

Scott Strader

Scott Strader, PhD
Edmundson Hall

Learn More About Scott

Scott obtained his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He has been licensed as a psychologist in Florida since 1995. He received his BA degree in psychology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. He has been director of the Eckerd College Counseling Center since 2005 and has directed the Center for Innovative Learning since its inception. He enjoys working with students in a variety of settings to help them survive and thrive as emerging adults.

Holly White

Holly White, PhD
Director of Academic Programs & Research
Brown Hall 117

Learn More About Holly

Holly received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Memphis in 2005; her Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Memphis in 1999, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in 1996. After obtaining her doctorate, Holly worked as a research scientist at the Institute for Intelligent Systems in Memphis and as adjunct faculty at the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, and LeMoyne-Owen College. Holly arrived at Eckerd in 2008 and served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology until joining the CIL in 2015. Holly researches and designs academic programs and services that reflect best practices and foster the academic success of students with ADHD/ADD, executive functioning deficits, dyslexia, and other learning differences. Holly also conducts research in the areas of executive function deficits and consequences for memory and creative cognition. Other interests include wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, and spending time with her dog Abby.

Kelly Douglass

Kelly Douglass, B.S.
Coordinator of Academic Coaching
Brown Hall 101

Learn More About Kelly

Kelly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. She has worked in the educational setting for the past 18 years mainly in the area of special education. Kelly specializes in the areas of Time Management, Organization, and Study Skills. She enjoys helping students sort through the chaos of college requirements to reach their full potential as students and lifelong learners. In addition to her educational background, Kelly has raised two sons. Her eldest, Matt, graduated from Eckerd College in 2010, and Brian from Yale University in 2011.

Marra Piazza Brass

Marra Piazza Brass, M.S.
Academic Success Coach
Brown Hall 101

Learn More About Marra

Marra obtained her MS in School Counseling from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. She received her dual BA degree in Spanish and International Students from LeMoyne College, also in Syracuse. Marra has spent over a decade working as a counselor in admission and financial aid programs and, more recently, as a high school guidance counselor in a variety of secondary school settings. She enjoys helping to promote student success and is enjoying her return to higher education.

David Busch

David Busch, MS.Ed
Learn-to-Learn Consultant
Brown Hall 101

Learn More About David

David obtained his Master of Science Degree in Adolescent Student Education from Adelphi University, and his bachelor’s degree in Secondary School Studies from Brooklyn College. Prior to his relocation to Florida, David taught high school for over thirty years in New York State, with a philosophy of inclusion and inquiry. He helps students achieve academic success by teaching them to learn and, more importantly, how they learn best.

Sarah Acus-Souders, Luis Bonilla, Amber Schott, Corey Robinson
Work Scholars

Eilene Hicks