Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Freshly re-accredited Tutoring Center offers academic aid to students
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant
Oakland University continues to roll out new programs – and improve existing ones – to help students succeed. The Tutoring Center (TTC), formerly the Academic Skills Center, offers a host of services for new and returning students, and its tutor training program was recently re-certified by the College Reading and Learning Association.
“We are very proud of the fact that our re-certification is for levels one, two and three, since many tutoring programs do not have all three levels,” said TTC Director Beth DeVerna, adding that a CRLA representative described OU’s tutor training program as a “well developed and organized training program that provides nice recognition of tutors each semester.”
“We feel that it’s important to provide our tutors and Supplemental Instruction Leaders with the appropriate strategies to assist the students utilizing TTC programs and services,” DeVerna continued. “In addition, we want our students to leave Oakland University with leadership skills earned through training and work experience.”
DeVerna explained that all tutors are minimally required to be certified at level one, a process that requires 10 hours of training and 25 hours of tutoring. Subsequent certification levels require an additional 10 hours of training, along with a capstone presentation on topics such as best practices and learning styles.
To help students stay on track, TTC provides an array of services tailored to many subjects and learning styles. The center's tutors and Supplemental Instruction Leaders assist students with courses ranging from science and math to humanities and social sciences. Peer Tutors focus on 100-200 level courses, while Supplemental Instruction Leaders most often work in conjunction with traditionally difficult undergraduate courses. Tutoring sessions are conducted in individual and group settings to facilitate learning and help students get the most out of each session.
"We promote the professional development of our tutors." DeVerna said. "It's an opportunity for them to add to their resume and hone their skills."
TTC typically employs more than 50 tutors each semester, and they come from virtually all academic backgrounds, including arts and sciences, education and business administration. Many are student athletes and award winners. Five have been named Michigan Tutor of the Year over the past decade.
Responding to student demand, TTC has implemented new hours. The center, located in 103 North Foundation Hall, is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. TTC also provides a series of academic skills workshops on topics such as time management, note-taking, reading comprehension and retention, and coping with test anxiety.