University of Portland Bulletin 2020-2021

The Learning Commons

Jeffrey S. White, M.A., M.S., program administrator


Located in Buckley Center 163, the Learning Commons connects UP students with trained peer tutors and writing assistants for both face-to-face and online tutoring in a variety of areas. Our programs include the Writing Center, the Math Resource Center, the Natural Sciences Center, the Language Studio, the Speech and Presentation Lab, the Group Work Lab, as well as tutoring for nursing, business, and economics.

In the Learning Commons, the role of the tutor is to facilitate active and self-regulated learning. Likewise, our writing assistants work to develop students as active and self-aware writers. Students can expect to engage in their tutoring and writing assistance sessions as active participants in their learning. Our tutor training program has been peer reviewed by the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Program Certification to train and certify our tutors at Level 1.

Nearly one-third of UP students take advantage of the Learning Commons’ programs. Year after year, our data show that students feel more confident, motivated, and deliberate in their learning after working with our tutors and writing assistants. All tutoring and writing assistance in the Learning Commons is provided through the cost of tuition.

Trained reception and knowledgeable staff welcome students in the Learning Commons space. The majority of our peer tutoring and writing assistance is provided by appointment in order to allow for specific and ample time for tutors and students in our learning conducive space.

The Learning Commons is a program of the Shepard Academic Resource Center. For more information, contact the Learning Commons at (503) 943-8002 or go to the Learning Commons webpage at