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Quantitative Resource Center

Lin Winton is the director of the Quantitative Resource Center at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

The Quantitative Resource Center was established at Carleton College in 2020 to support students using quantitative skills across the curriculum. The QRC is unusual in that it does not offer course-specific content help; rather, tutors are trained to problem-solve collaboratively with students working with numbers in any course or research project. There is a separate tutoring center on campus that is dedicated to supporting Mathematics classes, a computer lab dedicated to supporting Statistics classes, and a computer lab dedicated to supporting Computer Science classes. Thus, the majority of QRC traffic is from Economics, social sciences research methods courses, and QR courses in the Humanities, although some students with dedicated departmental services also choose to use the QRC.

The QRC was founded and is directed by Dr. Lin Winton, and resides on the main floor of the Library near the Writing Center. The physical space includes large tables for working together, small tables for working alone, large mobile whiteboards, small personal whiteboards, pens and pencils with our logo, paper (copy, notebook, graph), graphing calculators and chargers, and some reference guides (R, Excel, GIS). There are no computers in the center because Carleton has a grant-funded project that ensures every student has a laptop.

For a campus of 2,000 undergraduates, the QRC is staffed by 10-12 undergraduate tutors with a wide variety of majors and quantitative coursework, who offer drop-in evening sessions Sunday-Thursday. A few tutors each term are senior Statistics majors ("comps consultants") who primarily support other seniors using statistics in their thesis projects. Only comps consultants offer appointment slots, for more dedicated attention, in addition to their regular drop-in shifts. All services are available on Zoom and Slack for remote access.

For those new to leading tutoring centers, particularly those more broadly serving QR, Lin highly recommends the 2016 handbook edited by Coulombe, O'Neill, and Schuckers, and connecting with directors of other centers with similar mandates. Start with your peer institutions; you may find there's an informal regional network you can connect to. (Don't be afraid to cold-email someone. I have replied and been replied to 100% of the time, and it is always friendly!)

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