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Academic Skills Center offers tutoring, academic assistance

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Academic Skills Center offers tutoring, academic assistance
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Students in the Academic Skills Center receive tutoring assistance.
For newly-minted Oakland University students, as well as those returning to campus, a new semester often brings new challenges. Fortunately, the university has an extensive network of resources to help meet those demands. 

Students are encouraged to visit the Academic Skills Center (ASC), where a caring team of peers and professionals can help students solve problems and pursue academic goals.

According to ASC Director Kellie Klinck, tutoring services can be quite beneficial for students who may be falling behind in class, as well as those striving for a higher level of success.

"Tutoring offers students a more collaborative way to take their performance up a notch," she explained. "It's not a sign of deficiency or weakness." 

The center's tutors and supplemental instruction leaders assist students with subjects 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.

Students and tutors find the experience mutually beneficial. Senior biology major Katie Wasek tutors students in chemistry and math.

"It keeps me sharp," said Wasek, now in her second year as a tutor. "You get regulars who come in, and students find a tutoring style that works for them."

Matthew Cross, a senior majoring in computer and electrical engineering said that being a tutor is rewarding because of the positive dynamic between tutors and students.

"It's a very open and accepting environment," he explained. "You get to know a lot of people and actually become friends." 

ASC Assistant Director Beth DeVerna said the center is approved by the College Reading and Learning Association to certify tutors at all three levels of proficiency.

DeVerna explained that all tutors are 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. 

"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."

The ASC typically has more than 50 tutors each semester, and they come from virtually all academic backgrounds, including pre-medicine and pre-dentistry, 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.

For more information about the ASC or to set up an appointment, view the website.