Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Revamped Tutoring Center assists new and returning students
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant
As a new semester approaches, 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, will offer a host of services that new and returning students can utilize, including individual and group tutoring, training in learning strategies, Supplemental Instruction, self-paced instructional materials and more.
The name change took place this July as part of a reorganization of the university’s advising services, according to TTC Director Beth DeVerna.
“When the First Year Advising Center was implemented, the Academic Skills Center was restructured and renamed,” DeVerna explained, adding that some operational changes will accompany this transition. Most notably, academic probation issues will now be handled by the First Year Advising Center and academic advising staff across the university.
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.
TTC is approved by the College Reading and Learning Association to certify tutors at three levels of proficiency. 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.
"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 will also have new hours starting in fall. The center, located in 103 North Foundation Hall, will be 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.