Tutoring brings better grades, confidence

By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 22, 2004

Students trying to pass their classes and needing help with class material when tests come around can utilize many tutoring services around campus.

Stacey Hartman, assistant director of the University Learning Center, said University Tutoring Services are available to all undergraduate students who pay a $25 semester fee.

Hartman said UTS accommodates most 100 and 200 level courses.

UTS tutors are available at Old Main Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"We're the only tutoring service on campus holding sessions at night and helping students in more than one subject at a time," Hartman said.

Hartman said students who come in three to four times a week and stay for as long as four hours at a time reap the benefits.

"These students are using our service to their best advantage and aren't coming in when they know they're in trouble and are trying to cram," Hartman said.

Students struggling through English and other writing intensive courses can visit The Writing Center in Bear Down Gym to improve their writing skills.

Tutors are available Tuesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sandra Florence, coordinator for The Writing Center, said the center is a place to come to share ideas of writing, not just for a single assignment but on writing in general.

Florence said the free service employs around 25 undergraduate and graduate peer tutors who are there to help guide students' writing, predominantly in English and General Education classes.

She said the peer tutors provide a more conducive learning environment, as students can relate and feel more at ease with someone close in age.

"The peer tutors are there to create a collaborative and comfortable kind of atmosphere," she said.

Jeff Orgera, associate director of the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center, said SALT caters to students with attention or learning challenges.

The SALT Center not only wants to help its students through their classes, but wants to understand the psychological and emotional well-being of a student, help them develop time management skills and provide them with learning strategies and basic study skills, Orgera said.

"SALT tries to meet the students where they're at to provide an easy transition to college life," Orgera said.

Orgera said the SALT Center serves about 530 students, two-thirds of whom are freshmen and sophomores.

The student works with tutors dedicated to an individual subject and visits with a learning specialist, much like a counselor.

The SALT Center's services cost $1,950 per semester.

Orgera said there are 10 learning specialists working with about 55 students.

Orgera said sometimes the bond between the student and their learning specialist is as strong of a relationship as with a family member.

"The bond between the learning specialist and the student is something very unique," Orgera said. "These are the professionals that get to know the ins and outs of every one of these students and are with them through all of their challenges, successes and failures."