Letter from Dr. Bruce J. Bukowski


To the class of 1963, greetings from the Class of 1963 Center for Academic Excellence. My name is Dr. Bruce J. Bukowski and I am the new Director of the Center as of July 11, 2011. I met with some members of your class of 63 on August 23 at the Annapolis Yacht Club; and we had a great time, until the earthquake struck and we had to leave the building.  Luckily, we all survived and now have a common bond.  Over these last 13 weeks, I have had a chance to become familiar with the Center and the Academy and would like to give you an update on what is happening here at the Center.

The Extra Help classes are at a record high with 279 student seeking assistance in Calculus, Chemistry and Physics. We are offing 31 sections of the support classes for the Mids presently this fall and that continues to grow.  Last year 230 midshipmen utilized these services.

The tutoring program under Lt. Commander Kathleen OŐLeary (92) has hired 15 tutors who will assist with 35 different course offerings. The first week of school 100 students utilized these services and that will continue to grow. Last year, 750 midshipmen used the tutoring program for academic assistance in over 4500 different meetings during the year.

The Plebe Intervention Program under Commander Don Carlson (72) program has 71 students assigned to it and there are 7 sections of the Learning Skills classes being required for these students to participate. These courses run 6 weeks and cover the basic study skills that these students will need to be successful. More learning skills will be added as the semester begins as last year we had 11 of these.

The Midshipmen Group Study Program (MGSP) under Dr. Beth Mutch (90) has a record 139 midshipmen assisting student in 36 classes this fall. This is the largest group ever and last year  the program had over 12,000 visits. Presently we are average over 270 students a week in the program.

Since accepting this position, I have been working with the staff, the DeanŐs office, and an outside Review CommitteeŐs evaluation to identify initial goals for the upcoming year. A major problem has been the software we use for gathering data, for this internal system has had some major flaws and much of the data has gone unrecorded. But, this year all data will be recorded as we have simplified our system. We are presently exploring ideas for a new and better system that is easier to use. Reliable and valid data is important not only for reporting but evaluation as well.

The second challenge the Center staff is facing is the marketing of the Center. More people need to be informed of the CenterŐs services, from faculty and staff to midshipmen. The goal is to let it be known that the Center is here for everyone, not just students who struggle. Students who excel in academics who might have a problem in just one class can utilize our services.  This message is vital and the staff has a marketing plan that we are putting into place this year with more ideas to come next year.

As I said to your classmates in August, as an outsider coming in I can think of no better impact one can have on the Academy than what the Class of 63 has decided to invest in.  As you can see, over 750 midshipmen a week utilize the services of the Academic Center.  Your commitment impacts the lives of midshipmen every day and not many classes can say that. We look to continue to improve on the Center in the next year and are excited to move to the Levy Center next August which puts us even closer to the Brigade. The staff and I thank you for all your support.  You can count on us to continue to explore new ways to provide academic support for all Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy.