Beginning this semester, all freshmen who sign up for tutoring are required to take at least one introductory workshop before they can be assigned a tutor.
The Academic Advising Center offered six 50-minute Study Skills Workshops between Sept. 9 and 21 in Clark Lounge and Klingenstein Lounge. While workshops have been offered during past fall semesters by the Advising Center, this year, all freshmen seeking tutoring are now mandated to take at least one of these workshops, Yolanda Clarke, manager of Tutoring Services, said.
The workshops are now mandatory for freshmen to teach them to learn skills so they can do well independently learning, as well as learning with a tutor, Clarke said.
“Our goal is to help students think about the importance of effective study skills, note taking, reading comprehension, how important it is to know how to study and manage their time rather than depend solely on tutoring as the answer to academic difficulty,” Clarke said.
Presentations were on several topics, including avoiding procrastination and evaluating what type of learner the students were.
Junior Myriah LaTourette has been a tutor for a year and is currently a head tutor for physical therapy, human services and health professions courses. She said the reason for the mandatory workshops this year is a result of freshmen not taking their tutoring seriously in the past.
“They weren’t putting in an effort to, you know, going into class and taking good notes,” LaTourette said. “It was just a way to make sure that they were really serious about pursuing tutoring.”
LaTourette said it is important that incoming freshmen understand that college is not like high school.
“Some students don’t really have to work very hard in high school to do well, so learning some basic techniques for how to be successful in these college classes is helpful for them,” LaTourette said. She said her students have told her they found the workshops useful in helping them make the transition.
Senior Devin Larsen is the head tutor for physics in the tutoring center. He said it’s important that students realize that tutoring is not an “as needed” option — rather than have students come in for one assignment or exam, the tutors want to continue a learning process throughout the entire semester.
“Students are doing an excellent job of following through as requested,” Clarke said.
While Clarke acknowledges this positive initial reaction, she said the workshops are not done evolving. She said Tutoring Services plans to make adjustments to the workshops, but is currently waiting for more feedback from freshmen.
Freshman Meghan Yates took part in a workshop focused on the characteristics of learning in order to see which methods best suited her.
“I did learn that I’m a very visual learner,” Yates said. “So that was interesting to me to see how it applies to my daily life. I found it really helpful.”
Freshman Mary Stephenson took a workshop on avoiding procrastination. Stephenson said the workshop taught her many new methods in order to handle the college workload, including using a planner and maximizing time in between classes.
“I was looking forward to hearing what was going to be said,” Stephenson said. “I honestly did not find it a hassle at all.”
Both Stephenson and Yates said they hope to see these workshops offered again in the future.
Freshmen were told by Tutoring Services to sign up early so they could get into workshops they wished to take. Students who were unable to attend the workshops or who have yet to sign up for tutoring must make an appointment with a professional adviser.
The last day for students to request a tutor for Fall 2015 is Nov. 6.