Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tutoring services help students make the grade

As final exams approach, Randolph’s tutoring department is a busy place.

Although many students utilize the College’s tutoring services all semester long, many are seeking a little extra assistance hoping to improve that final grade just a bit. Randolph tutors encourage this practice, even if students are doing well in a class and just hope to do better.

Student tutors gather for a training meeting
“Some of the brightest people that I know still use tutors for help in subjects that they want to improve in,” said Alyssa Everett ’15, a tutor who assists students with chemistry and physics classes.

Randolph serves students with three different types of tutors: learning strategies tutors, subject tutors, and writing lab tutors. The College has about 65 student tutors, and each tutor has been recognized for their academic strengths and are recommended by faculty or staff members.

All tutors complete regular training so they can assist Randolph students in the most effective way possible. Sandeep Poudyal ’16 found the training helped him realize the importance of empathy and understanding an individual’s learning style.

Three Kinds of Tutors

Learning strategies tutors help students with study skills, note taking, and time management. See Tina Barnes, coordinator of Disability Services and the Learning Strategies Program, to request a learning strategies tutor.

Subject tutors have excelled in a particular class and provide further explanations or answer questions about their areas of expertise. Find a subject tutor by searching for "Tutoring Services" in the My Links section of the Portal.

Writing lab tutors excel in English and help students through any part of the writing process. Request a writing tutor by searching for "Writing Lab Appointments" in the My Links section of the Portal.
“Before I was a tutor, I would help my friends with economics or math and would talk to them as if it were so simple. I didn’t realize it wasn’t so simple for them,” said Poudyal. In the training, “we were encouraged to empathize with them. It sounds simple, but you should look at it from their point of view.”

While still occasionally helping students in math or economics, Poudyal officially serves as a learning strategies tutor. He sees quite a bit of value in the tutoring program at Randolph—not only does he serve as a tutor, but he has also utilized the assistance of a subject tutor. “Sometimes the professor is intimidating or what they say is not installed in your head, but when a peer says, it can be more effective,” said Poudyal.

Many Randolph students seem to agree with Poudyal and seek tutors for assistance throughout the semester. Everett said she has about five or six appointments to tutor each week, but sometimes she has as many as eight or 10. “Some people keep consistent appointments and others just come to me as needed,” she said.

Poudyal formerly attended a school where there was a stigma against tutoring. “People didn’t understand that you could get a tutor even if you are good at something, just to stay good at it,” he said, noting that the environment is different at Randolph. “Here people do not criticize you if you have a tutor. It’s free help; Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? There is always room for improvement.”