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Peer Tutoring

Posted on 12.11.2013

Peer tutoring is a collaboration among departments, student tutors, the Academic Success Center and the students who need the help it offers.

Peer tutoring takes place Monday-Thursday at 3:30-5:30 p.m. According to Academic Success Associate Brenda Bassi for the first time in at least five years, peer tutoring is offered 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Sundays. Students can receive tutoring in many levels and for many courses, such as science, history and modern languages. For the second time this semester, the Academic Success Center hosted the Finals Tutoring Blitz, a one-stop tutoring session at which students received help.

Bassi said peer tutoring has been around for more than 10 years at UIndy and it was created when Academic Success Center officials learned there was a need for it. Departments recommend the students they believe would make good tutors and promote it to students who need help. Bassi said that students are encouraged to speak with their professors and go to the tutoring offered in the specific departments before going to peer tutoring.  If there is a scheduling conflict with that department’s tutoring, then peer tutoring may work. But students have to let people know they need help, she said.

“If we don’t know that something is not working for a student … then we won’t be able to do anything about it,” Bassi said. “But if the student lets us know, then we would be more than happy to work something out.”

Bassi also said the support and help of faculty and staff members has gone a long way for peer tutoring, and without the departments’ help, they would not have some of the tutees.

“Word of mouth is very important,” she said, “But they also contribute in a big way. Just by knowing we have the support of faculty, that means a lot to us.”

Sophomore undecided major and French tutor Amy Siegel was recommended by her French professor, Peter Vakunta, and went through the process of applying for the job, which includes filling out an application, interviewing and training. Siegel not only has the opportunity to help students, but she benefits as well.

“I like the chance to talk to students who have not had as many years as I have had,” she said. “And not only do I get to help them, but I get to brush up on my own skills.”

Siegel helps students by adapting to their ways of learning, such as using flashcards. The tutoring is based on the student and what he or she needs. Siegel admitted not a lot of people come to French tutoring and said there should be no embarrassment about attending any of the sessions.

“I think that sometimes it is the more proactive people … who go and ask for help,” she said. “I think it is more common than people think it is … There should not be that stigma of ‘They are going to think I am stupid.’”

Bassi said that it is important for struggling students to take advantage of all the resources on campus, whether it is the Math Lab, the Writing Lab, tutoring offered by the departments or the peer tutoring. She said the worst thing to do, however, is nothing.

“You might like it,” Bassi said. “You might learn something, and it can make a difference.”


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