Several services are available to all students wishing to improve their writing, reading, study skills, and competency in science and mathematics. In addition, these offices support the academic program of the College by helping students who have difficulty with general academic skills and/or particular course material. Full-time professionals in these offices offer one-on-one assistance free of charge to students.
The Mathematics Laboratory provides help with the quantitative problem-solving skills needed to succeed in calculus and statistics courses.
The Reading Laboratory develops more efficient reading and study strategies, with emphasis on improving vocabulary, reading comprehension, and rate.
Science Learning Center
The Science Learning Center provides practice and training in the analytic and quantitative skills required in the sciences as well as content-based study sessions for introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.
The Writing Laboratory helps students improve their writing skills through supportive consultations with writing specialists.
Academic Advising Office
Individual tutoring services are available in all other subjects through the Academic Advising Office, which also provides assistance with time management, study skills, and academic accommodations for students with disabilities.
Audio Visual Center
The Audio Visual Center includes language and learning laboratories, a media-based classroom, and diverse facilities for media preparation and presentation, including instructional multimedia.
The language and learning laboratories support either directed study with a class and an instructor, or individual work. A range of equipment for using tape, disk, or network sources is integrated in the laboratories. This equipment can be used flexibly for listening or viewing, for skills exercises or composition, and for interactively mixing audio, video, and electronic text.
The audio visual classroom is equipped to accommodate various forms of presentation— film, video, audio, and computer display. Its use is scheduled hour-to-hour through the AV Center. Both faculty and students can reserve the use of this facility.
In addition to equipment, the AV Center maintains materials used in many different courses and departments. Audio course materials can be duplicated for student use outside the AV Center. Video material from camera recording or satellite transmission from other countries can be transferred and edited into a usable form for classroom presentation and instruction.
The Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts and the Print and Drawing Study Room in Burling Library are state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the exhibition of fine art at Grinnell. The Faulconer Gallery, which opened in 1999, encompasses 7,420 square feet of space for the presentation of exhibitions curated by the professional staff, as well as exhibitions traveling nationally and internationally. Recent shows have focused on contemporary painting, sculpture, installation art, and video. Most exhibitions are accompanied by a published catalogue.
The Faulconer Gallery also presents the annual Student Art Salon and new work by the College's art faculty. The staff of the gallery works with students in a variety of ways to program the gallery, and brings prominent artists, curators, and critics to campus to speak and conduct workshops and classes. An internship each semester gives students hands-on experience in various aspects of museum operations, and the director of the gallery teaches a Museum Studies course through the Department of Art.
The strength of the College's permanent art collection is in prints and drawings, although the collection also includes paintings, sculpture, African art, and photography. In 2001, the College acquired a collection of over 70 German Expressionist prints. The overall collection is a unique teaching resource and research tool for students and faculty alike.
The Print and Drawing Study Room, under the auspices of the Faulconer Gallery, is designed to house, preserve, and exhibit works on paper. The space is primarily for study and research, though it also functions as a place to exhibit portions of the collection on a rotating basis. Through direct examination of original works of art in a secure, well-appointed facility, students, faculty, and staff have access to information and material not available through reproductions. The space is used frequently by classes, scholars both on and off campus, and students doing research.
Information Technology Services (ITS)
Computing is an integral part of the academic environment at Grinnell College— a resource analogous to library resources. The College provides an exemplary computing environment in which all members of the college community can use computing to enhance educational activities. The College's goals are for every student to attain familiarity with computing concepts, to use computers as tools to accomplish educational goals, and to develop an understanding of the impact that computers have on society.
Access for students, faculty, and staff is provided through approximately 1,000 personal computers and workstations located in residence halls, classrooms, offices, laboratories, Burling Library, and at off-campus locations. Distributed printing devices include laser and ink jet printers. All residence hall rooms have high-speed network connections and wireless access.
Linux workstations in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science provide an outstanding graphics and programming environment. These workstations are available for use by all Grinnell students. A fiber-optic backbone connects all academic buildings and provides a connection to the central systems in Lazier Hall and to the Internet.
All students regularly take advantage of the free and almost unlimited computer access during their years at Grinnell. Also, nearly all faculty members use computing extensively in teaching and research activities. Student organizations such as the Student Government Association, KDIC radio station, and the Scarlet and Black student newspaper have found computing helpful in their activities.
Each semester, ITS hires 30 to 35 student user consultants. The user consultants work in the computer laboratories, providing assistance to computer users experiencing problems using the systems. Student assistants often are employed during the summer months as well. The summer positions offer a unique opportunity for students to work on advanced computing projects and develop computing and consulting skills, working in close cooperation with faculty members and ITS staff members. A Student Technology Advisory Committee, representing student computer users, serves as an advisory group to ITS. The committee meets regularly to discuss computing policies and procedures, and advises the staff about matters affecting student computer use.
The College is committed to having an academic computing program that is among the very best in the country. Substantial resources are devoted to building the College's program in quantitative studies, developing new computer applications in the humanities, and constructing a network of computing hardware and software resources that supports the continuing growth of academic computing applications.
The eight professional librarians and 15 support staff of the Grinnell College Libraries— Burling Library, the Kistle Science Library, and the Curriculum Library are dedicated to helping students and faculty succeed in learning, teaching, and research. The libraries hold ca. 775,000 volumes, 33,000 audio and video recordings, 25,000 microforms, and have active subscriptions to 2,600 serial titles in paper and microform and almost 20,000 electronic journal titles. Library services emphasize working closely with students to develop fluency in the use and evaluation of information sources as they conduct research and other intellectual investigations, and include individualized research assistance (library labs), classroom instruction, and drop-in reference assistance.
The libraries provide more than 470 individual student study spaces; access to networked computers (both PC and Mac); a listening/viewing room for music and video recordings; specialized collections in African American, East Asian, and Latino history and culture, and in prairie studies; and the College Archives. Books and journal articles not held by the libraries may be acquired through interlibrary services. The libraries' website provides information about the libraries and access (both on and off campus) to electronic and print resources (journals, databases, books, websites, and more).