Today: Apr 23, 2024

Tutoring Center to open in Farnham Programming Space

Aaron Berkowitz – General Assignment Reporter 

SCSU’s staff is constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the student’s chances of being successful and their latest means of doing so is coming in the form a new tutoring program in Farnham Hall.

This is the program’s pilot year, but the founders Dr. Kathleen De Oliveira, director of the Academic Success Center, and Dr. Sheila Coressel, associate director of Residence Life, are both optimistic for a successful semester.

Coressel said the program is aimed towards serving the underclassmen because they’re more likely to be in the residence halls. She also said there could be some adjustments made to fit the needs of the students during the semester.

“If we’re finding that its so successful that we don’t have enough tutors to meet the needs of our students, then we will go back to the drawing board to try and find additional money to hire more,” said Coressel. “If we’re finding that the time for each session isn’t quite right then we might adjust it a bit.”

De Oliveira said they decided to offer tutoring in math, English, and chemistry because they are the most frequent subjects they found students to struggle with.

“We went to those three areas and determined which courses those freshman and sophomores would be taking during that time,” said De Oliveira.

residence hallThe new Farnham Tutoring Center will be open on Sundays beginning Jan. 25 with the hopes of reaching students when they are most focused on getting their assignments done, according to De Oliveira.

“We figured Sunday evenings would be our best target because let’s face it, on Fridays and Saturdays most students are not thinking about studying,” said De Oliveira. “On Sundays, we found that most students are beginning to think about what lies ahead in the week and what assignments are due.”

At the launch of the program, sessions between the students and tutors will last a half hour and will include more time allotted for them to practice what they’ve covered in a quiet study area. The program will also offer refreshments for the students to enjoy while they work. Students will be able to schedule their appointments on the Sunday they would like to come in as long as there are slots available.

In order to assure that the program best suits the needs of the students, both Coressel and De Oliveira said they met with faculty and students to get input on what students need in order to benefit from their time in the program.

“I met with SGA, the peer mentors, I attended a President’s council meeting, as well as the Multicultural Center,” said De Oliveira.

The tutors that have been selected were recommended by professors in their field of expertise and were placed to educate students in areas where they have been most successful, De Oliveira said. As of now, there are four math tutors, one for chemistry and one that is specifically there for help with writing.

Coressel said the program does have a unique feature that she is excited about and she encourages students to utilize this new resource no matter their gpa entering a session.

“Research has shown that students who interact with faculty members and are taking advantage of the resources that are available are more likely to continue and graduate,” said Coressel. “Just because you breezed through high school does not mean you will do the same in college. So are having trouble grasping a concept we want you to feel okay coming to ask for the help you need. We are also offering group tutoring. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable one on one and still needs some extra support then they can schedule an hour of tutoring with students taking the same class. Our thinking is that in a group, one student may not know they don’t understand the material until another student asks a question. ”

“We want all of the students to be academically successful,” said De Oliveira. “If you’re not doing well in a class, that’s okay. People struggle and that’s normal. Our idea is to surround them with positive energy because in the end it will only help them improve or see the results they really want.”

Photo Credit: Aaron Berkowitz, Derek Torrellas

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