Long-standing Learning Center aims to help students learn and grow


Mrs. Kimberly McHugh helping a student in the Learning Center

Mary Baker, Staff Writer

The Learning Center is one of the many programs at Cathedral that is guiding students towards academic excellence. The Learning Center team consists of: Director, Ms. Meg Burton, Mrs. Margret Billy (former Director), new teacher Mrs. Kimberly McHugh, and Mrs. Molitor who has been with the Learning Center for many years and has seen it grow and progress.

There are different ways to be among the presently one hundred fifty members. “Of those, about 90 students have a Learning Center class in their schedule, and the other students receive various accommodations for tests, note-taking, etc., but do not take the class,” Mrs. Molitor said.

Director Ms. Burton describes the classes as a time to work on compensatory strategies and study skills, and whatever else the students wish to work on for their classes. “For the students, the Learning Center helps them learn how they best learn, helps them with study skills, and how to break down materials from their core classes; it provides them with time management and planning skills, and gives them compensatory strategies they can utilize in their classes,” she said.

The center has been helping students since the 80’s when it was first established at Uni, and holds status according to Ms. Burton as “one of the largest Learning Centers in Catholic high schools in San Diego.” Mrs. Molitor is the only teacher involved in the Learning Center who has been with its since the Uni days. “The Learning Center opened on the Uni campus during the school year of 1986-87, but the planning, grant writing, and fundraising began several years before that. The first director of the LC was Mrs. Margaret King, who is now retired,” she said.

For students to become apart of such a long-standing program they must complete a psycho-educational-evaluation test designed to demonstrate intellectual as well as academic factors. No matter what the outcome, every Learning Center student is still on a college prep, diploma-bound track like every other CCHS student.

Ms. Burton truly believes in the helpful aspects of the Learning Center, or LC. “I think there are several students who wouldn’t be here without the LC, I think it helps specifically with the freshman transition from the K through 8 schools, and to for them to be able to function at the level of rigor that Cathedral demands,” she said.

According to Learning Center student Melissa Mladenik, the extra time is her favorite part. “I actually had an F in math, but a lot of that was because I didn’t have enough time on tests and enough time to get all my work done, but coming here with the Learning Center I get extra time on tests and quizzes and to do homework during school. Its helped me a lot, and its given me a lot of confidence in school,” Melissa said.

Having helped a myriad of students, Mrs. Molitor maintains it’s a delight to watch students grow and mature, especially “from when we first met them as freshmen to when they are seniors excitedly telling us which colleges they have been accepted to,” she said.