Described as a “hidden gem,” the center offers coaching services that can alleviate students’ midterm season stress.


Student-built Lego scene at the Kortschak Center. (Photo by Abigail Washer)

By Abby Washer and also Natalie OganesyanOctober 23, 2019 in ~ 5:43 afternoon PDT

On the third floor of the college student Union lies the Kortschak facility for Learning and Creativity, a space open come students in need of stress administration services and also a relaxing environment — a room where on any given work you can discover students and staff building Lego inventions and also creating psychic maps ~ above the walls.

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The center’s main service is their scholastic coach program, whereby students have weekly one-on-one meetings v coaches to talk about their academic progress, objectives throughout the semester and also any areas of improvement.

While the center is open for academic help all year, this form of source could it is in especially beneficial for students throughout midterms, said Kortschak center Director Julie Loppacher.

“We acknowledge that once students room really stressed out, they often think that the equipment is come spend more time on the thing,” Loppacher said. “But the research and also science speak to communicate your brain differently. Provide yourself some breaks and also you will certainly actually become an ext efficient.”

Sofia Rios-Dominguez, a an elderly majoring in cinema and media studies, claimed she started going come the center since she was having trouble keeping up v her course load and also other extracurriculars.

“I think the Kortschak center is really distinct in that it’s very specifically tailored come the individual’s educational and also extracurricular experience,” Rios-Dominguez said. “I noticed critical year that I’d to be struggling with time management and also juggling all of my commitments and also I felt like the facility could market me the indict that ns needed.”

Star McCown, a junior majoring in an innovative writing, has actually been utilizing the center’s solutions for the past month. She claimed she feels much less anxious together a result of her coaching.

McCown especially cited the Pomodoro technique as a valuable tool in helping she study. The an approach breaks increase studying right into 25-minute chunks with short five minute breaks in between; after two hours, students have the right to take a longer break.

"I think I"ve just been more comfortable with holding myself accountable and I"m no so hard on myself anymore,” McCown said.

Aside native the academic coaching, the center offers resources favor a quiet computer system lab, research room and also creativity lounge, complete with brainteasers, color books, puzzles, yoga mats and also Therabands, follow to front desk assistant and senior Hana Khan.

"Sometimes once you go to a library, it kind of feels like a jail,” cannes said. “Here, it"s a yes, really nice calmer area and environment."

The center likewise offers individual scholastic guidance, drop-in hours, an innovative workshops and support teams for undergraduates, such together first-generation students, Rios-Dominguez said. One upcoming workshop is a pumpkin paint event, whereby students can acquire into the Halloween spirit and also momentarily take their mind off your studies.

While the facility engages in a holistic technique for each student that takes into factor to consider how your mental health and wellness contributes come their scholastic success, they carry out not market clinical therapy or counseling services, cannes said.

Khan, who has worked at the center since freshman year, stated she has actually seen students benefit from the center’s scholastic services firsthand.

"Usually when world do come in for services, they will certainly come in the following year and also say they desire to do it again, they’ll refer their friends,” khan said. “I think it"s a concealed gem for world who execute know about it."

The facility was established in 2010 as soon as a $10 million-dollar gift was provided to USC by Walter and Marcia Kortschak. According to an short article posted by USC News shortly before the main opening, the gift was the “largest got by college student Affairs in college history.”

While the center is open to every students, that was especially designed to provide “innovative services to students with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and also other determined learning differences.”

“Often in scholastic settings, the requirements of those students is secondary,” Loppacher said. “Here, those needs are primary. As a result, that course, we room uniquely qualified to serve all students.”

Since Kortschak is no well-known throughout USC’s campus, Khan said staff members are trying to spread out awareness through advisers, resides assistants and faculty in the wishes that they will send students in your direction when needed. Kortschak staff also visit classes, current to campus groups and work with the center for Excellence in to teach to encourage awareness.

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Loppacher claimed that she has actually seen the center’s popularity among students flourish substantially within simply the last year and will continue to do so.