Library’s drop-in-tutoring helps students prepare for tough finals

Jamie Taylor

With finals just a few weeks away, some students may need assistance preparing for some of their more difficult courses.

Drop-in tutoring at the University Library can help.

Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. students can receive tutoring for math and physics courses in the information commons on the first floor of the library.

Tutoring is provided by the Academic Success Center and is available for the Fundamental Math classes through the calculus courses.

Corey Mahaffey, junior audio engineering major, used the drop-in tutoring last year for his trigonometry class.

“I went with five people from my class, so it was more like group tutoring, and the tutors were there to make sure we knew what we were doing and to explain problems as needed,” Mahaffey said.

Attendance to the math tutoring programs at Kent State has increased 72 percent since the tutoring programs began in 2000 with funding from the provost’s office, according to the Student Retention Initiative’s Spring 2007 Semester Report.

The library’s drop-in tutoring has already surpassed 1,200 visits this semester.

“The program has grown leaps and bounds since it started in 2003,” said Randy Ruchotzke, the Academic Success Center’s Mathematics Learning Specialist. Ruchotzke and Mary Romans Yost coordinated and also monitor and evaluate the program.

The highest attendance rates for the tutoring are in the more advanced math classes. In Spring 2007, nearly one-third of all Calculus I students took advantage of the drop-in tutoring, Ruchotzke said.

Joseph Salem, Jr., head of Reference and Government Information Services, said the library wanted to add a tutoring section when the first floor was renovated and is “constantly trying to provide more services for students.”

The math tutors are undergraduate students employed by the Academic Success Center. They are selected by referrals from mathematics department faculty and are trained through the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Certified Tutor Training program.

“The tutors are fantastic. It is really cool to see Kent State students doing what they do so well,” Salem said.

Ruchotzke said he receives positive feedback from students about the math tutors’ competency, reliability and sensitivity to the students’ mathematical needs.

Drop-in math tutoring is also available in Tri-Towers, Twin-Towers and Stopher and Prentice halls. Students can contact the Academic Success Center at (330) 672-3190 for more information about math tutoring and tutoring for other courses.

Contact Library Services reporter Jamie Taylor at [email protected].