Should students seek help from tutors?

By Nathan Correia, Contributing Writer

College is hard, but tutoring puts students in a better position to succeed.  According to the San Bernardino Valley College Research Department, tutored students have a 7 percent higher success rate than non-tutored students.  If tutoring is so helpful, why don’t students use tutors to their advantage?

“I don’t know where they are and I don’t even bother looking up where they are.  I don’t have the time to go anyway,” says Nikolas George, a sophomore at UMass Dartmouth.

The UMass Dartmouth Writing and Reading Center is located on the second floor of the Liberal Arts building.  There, students can receive help and advice on their english assignments.

Rachel Wicks, a graduate assistant in the UMD Writing and Reading Center, is responsible for training tutors, scheduling tutoring sessions, arranging staff meetings, and distributing information about the center itself.  Wicks was a tutor at the school’s writing center for two years.  She has given 783 tutoring sessions and has the documents to prove it.  Her goal is to help students get the best grade possible.

“We collaboratively work together to make the paper the best we can,” says Wicks, “but there is still the idea that people can just walk in and use us as an editing service and just drop off the paper and be like ‘fix it for me’.”

But some students still feel overwhelmed when it comes to going to the writing center.  Some don’t even know where to begin.

“They can either call the center – we have our phone number on the website and on any type of promotional material, or they can just walk in and say they need someone to look over their paper.  Then we pair them up with a tutor, preferably one with the same major as them, set them up for a 50-minute session and it’s all good,” says Wicks.

Depending on their major and scholarship requirements, some students may be required to take tutoring/studying sessions.  “I think the mandatory studying sessions are pointless,” says one UMD freshman, “As adults, we should be trusted to admit when we are struggling in a class and need help from others.”

In some cases, students are given tutors who are not even majoring in that subject.  “Most of the time, I’m teaching my tutor how to do some of the problems instead of them teaching me, so that doesn’t help that much,” the freshman adds.

Another available resource is eTutoring.  After logging into myCourses, students can click the “Online Tutoring” link, which will take them to the eTutoring home.  There, students can live chat with tutors, submit questions, and submit their papers for editing.  A representative will respond to them within 48 hours.

Even though campus tutoring gets mixed reviews, it doesn’t hurt to try.  Students should not let fear, laziness, or stubbornness hold them back.


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