APSU's Golson elected as vice president of national learning center organization
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Director of the Academic Support Center at Austin Peay State University, Martin Golson was recently recognized as a leader among his peers in the learning center community when he was elected to serve as vice president of the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) for the 2017-18 year.
“If you’re working in a learning center, the NCLCA is something you should be a part of, because we certify professionals working in learning centers and learning centers themselves that promote standards of excellence,” Golson said. “I’m very fortunate to have been chosen by my fellow members (as vice president).”
An accomplished and awarded learning center professional, in 2015, Golson was honored as a Certified Learning Center Professional — Level 4 by NCLCA. This is the organization’s highest ranking and is shared by only 16 other professionals. A Level 4 designation indicates, among other criteria, over 11 years of experience of post-secondary learning assistance, an extensive record of conference presentations and/or publications, considerable service to the profession, and frequently progression toward a Ph.D.
In addition, Golson has played an active role in the organization itself, serving as publications officer for the NCLCA since 2014, as well as treasurer from 2012-14. An NCLCA member since 2007, Golson has been a prominent face in NCLCA — an organization with over 600 active members — presenting research at five of the organization’s national conferences.
Following his installation at the 2017 national conference in San Antonio, Texas in late September, Golson said his primary focus has been to organize the 2018 conference, which was recently announced as taking place in Niagara Falls, New York.
“When you attend a major conference like what NCLCA organizes, you’re only seeing the swan above the water, so to speak. What you’re not seeing is that swan’s feet pedaling fast under the water,” Golson said. “Vice president isn’t just a job title; in order to have a smooth conference, people need to work their rears off, and that’s primarily the focus of the vice president in terms of making next year’s conference go as smoothly as possible.”
A one-year term, vice presidency is traditionally followed by presidency the following year. Golson said both his current and future roles within NCLCA are the results of years of planning — planning that made him both easy to elect and will serve him well in office.
“You don’t just stumble into leadership certification and then accidentally stumble into the position of vice president; I had been planning for about the last couple years that I wanted to run and I did,” Golson said. “I really wasn’t campaigning for vice president; people who knew me and people who didn’t really know me each looked at my qualifications and experience and saw me as the logical choice — that’s what you want: you want to set the stage in your career where your selection seen as a no-brainer.”
Golson himself was hired as a peer tutor at the Center in 2002, before taking over direction in 2004. A member of the U.S. Army for 23 years before going into higher education, Golson credits APSU’s dedication to achieving student success for the Center’s recognition as a model among university student learning centers and any honors he has received along the way.
Since it opened in 2001, the Center has served thousands of students a year, offering a number of services to both APSU students and members of the community, including peer tutoring, community tutoring, technology assistance, Structured Learning Assistance, and a writing center. The Center also employs both APSU undergraduate and graduate students to support its clients in meeting their educational goals.
For more information on Austin Peay’s Academic Support Center, visit www.apsu.edu/academic-support-center , or call 931-221-6550.