Need help? Tutoring can be found for various courses

Leslie Schelat

More students in grades K-12 are using after-school tutoring at places such as Sylvan Learning Center to strengthen basic skills and eventually get into college.

And with the number of students enrolling in universities on the rise each year, the extra instruction can give students an intellectual advantage.

Once in college, students have several options for supplemental instruction, including tutors and individual writing workshops. An increasing number of students are taking advantage.

“We keep very close track of how many students attend,” said Karen Schroeder, Supplementary Instruction Program Coordinator.

SI sessions are extra review times for students having difficulty in courses that have proved challenging to many students over time. Attendance is voluntary.

According to the SI Web site, attendance at SI sessions in psychology and biology has increased every semester since spring of 2003 and chemistry since fall of 2003. SI sessions in sociology were on the rise until spring of 2004, when the number dropped significantly. It has since then increased again for the last two semesters.

Sophomore advertising major Raleigh Lipsky attended SI sessions for Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe and psychology.

“(The session for) Seven Ideas was really effective,” she said. “I got a 95 on my final, so I was happy.”

Lipsky said she would attend more SI sessions in the future. Courses are chosen to have SI sessions if they are in subjects students generally struggle with and have high failure and withdrawal rates.

These areas include psychology, sociology, chemistry, biology and economics.

“They are generally intro-level lecture classes for freshmen and sophomores,” Schroeder said.

SI sessions are student-lead, which can often make it easier for students to learn.

“It provides the students with the opportunity to learn in another way,” Schroeder said.

SI instructors, who apply for their positions, lead discussions and answer questions after they have taken the class themselves. This gives them a different perspective than professors and teacher’s aids.

“They were more approachable,” Lipsky said.

SI is just one of the services offered at the Academic Success Center in room 207 of the Michael Schwartz Center.

Math tutors are available in subjects ranging from developmental mathematics, a freshman-level course, through basic probability and statistics, a junior-level class.

General college physics I is included in the math tutoring category. Tutoring for math courses is offered in room 203 of the Michael Schwartz Center, in Twin Towers, Tri-Towers and the library. These small study groups are offered at various times throughout the day on Sunday through Friday.

For basic LERs, such as general psychology, introduction to sociology, Seven Ideas and formative and modern U.S. histories, small study groups are also offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Michael Schwartz Center.

For students who need help with writing or editing, writing services are offered at two locations on campus. The Academic Success Center has one-on-one tutoring sessions for English and other writing intensive courses in the library and in room 217 E of the Michael Schwartz Center.

Another resource students have if they are struggling with writing skills or need help at any step of the writing process is the Writing Center in Satterfield Hall.

“We provide feedback on papers,” said Kathryn Byrne, graduate student and intern in the Writing Center.

For help at the Writing Center, appointments need to be made.

“We are booked all the time,” Byrne said. “We have to turn students away.”

In order to fulfill some of its demands, the Writing Center has drop-in times from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in the library. Byrne said the center hopes to add drop-in times for dorms and departments on campus in the future.

Contact general assignment reporter Leslie Schelat at [email protected].