Cook Library Academic Commons a one-stop shop for student success

By Rebecca Kirkman on November 16, 2022

New 22,000-square-foot-space brings academic support services to the heart of campus

Students sit at table in open study area
Students in the new Academic Commons space for Writing Center and Tutoring & Learning Center study groups and tutoring appointments. (Nick Sibol / Towson University)

With the grand opening of the Academic Commons in Albert S. Cook Library on Nov. 15, students can now access multiple resources for academic success in one place.

The 22,000-square-foot-space on the third floor brings together the library’s Ask Us Resource Desk, the Tutoring & Learning Center, the Writing Center, the Office of Academic Advising, Student Computing Services and Accessibility & Disability Services. The student resources surround a 24/7 study area with nearly 100 computer workstations and flexible spaces for individual and group work.

The Academic Commons opened after six months of construction and a $4.6 million investment from the university. The design of the space—built with glass to emphasize transparency—removes barriers by bringing resources together in a highly visible, easily accessible space. 

“Ensuring student success is one of our leading priorities at Towson University. This highly visible one-stop-shop for our academic support services in the heart of campus is truly an important instrument in advancing that priority,” says President Kim Schatzel. “Here, students will be able to access all of the resources they need in order to thrive.”

At the ribbon cutting, President Schatzel was joined by Provost Melanie Perreault, Dean of University Libraries Suzanna Yaukey, and other university leaders. President Schatzel credited Provost Perreault and TU faculty and staff for the vision for the new space, which was completed in only six months, she said.

Learn more about the student resources located within the Academic Commons, and the assistance they provide, below.

Cook Library Ask Us Desk

Just inside the entrance to the Academic Commons, the Ask Us Desk helps visitors with everything from locating a book to connecting with a librarian for more in-depth assistance.

  • Get research assistance
  • Meet with a subject-specific librarian
  • Book a study room
  • Find a book, article or video

Tutoring & Learning Center

The Tutoring and Learning Center is a full-service learning center that assists students with achieving their academic goals by coordinating high-quality tutoring, supplemental instruction, peer-assisted learning sessions, academic coaching, study groups and study skills workshops.

  • Course-specific peer tutoring
  • Find a study group
  • Schedule one-on-one academic coaching

The Writing Center

The Writing Center helps students through every stage of the writing process from brainstorming to polishing a final draft. Based in the Liberal Arts Building, the Writing Center now has an ancillary space in the Academic Commons.

  • Meet with a peer writing tutor
  • Find citation resources

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising, Retention & Completion Office works to ensure that every undergraduate student has access to informed, effective and easily accessible academic advising.

  • Connect with a student academic adviser
  • Get help registering for classes
  • Get advice on choosing a major

Student Computing Services

From the Office of Technology Services, Student Computing Services provides technical support to students experiencing login, laptop and mobile device problems as well as advice on how to best accomplish computing tasks.

  • Get tech help
  • Get access to software and technology
  • Use printing services

Accessibility & Disability Services Testing Center

Part of the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, Accessibility and Disability Services provides disability-related assistance, support, consultation and advocacy to students and facilitates accommodations. Based in the University Union, its Testing Services Center is now located in the Academic Commons.

  • Register your disability
  • Access computers with assistive software
  • Use the Testing Services Center