Hawley implements changes toward group tutoring

Hawley implements changes toward group tutoring

by Allison LaneStaff Writer

Hawley Academic Resource Center has recently made changes to its tutoring system, focusing on group-oriented sessions to benefit students and staff.

The new system of tutoring gives tutors set times to be at Hawley to work in certain subject areas. Students can then come in during those periods for help.

Kara May, assistant director of Hawley Academic Resources Center, believes the new system will be much more flexible with students’ schedules.

“It’s such good flexibility for anybody,” May said. “The student becomes much more responsible for what they need to get out of the class.”

Under the former tutoring system, students went to Hawley to request a tutor for practically any course. The staff would then find another student to help him or her on an individual basis. The amount of time to locate a qualified tutor, however, could take a few minutes to one or two weeks.

Todd Little, assistant dean of student academic achievement and director of Hawley Academic Resource Center, said the recent change in the tutoring program will allow Hawley to serve the students better.

“One of the reasons behind the change is that we wanted to attempt to serve the students quicker,” Little said.

Another cause for the switch was the large number of students requesting tutoring for the same classes.

With a set schedule in place, students have the option to stop in just to have their homework checked or to attend several sessions a week to prep for an exam. Previously, a student needing extra help could monopolize the tutor’s time, which would be a disadvantage to other students.

The students receiving academic help are not the only ones who will benefit, either. The Hawley tutors also have a set number of hours they will get paid for in a week. During the former system, tutors had no guarantee of the students showing up, which meant no guarantee of a paycheck.

Senior Jean Clipperton current math undergrad assistant, is in her third year of tutoring for Hawley and likes the prospects of the new group-oriented system. She thinks it helps students because they not only can get help from the tutor, but from each other as well.

“I hope it will encourage people to just stop by, even just to ask a question,” Clipperton said. “They can do their homework and stay for as long or short as they want.”

The group sessions will also be advantageous for students. If the tutor is busy helping another student, the others can work on the problem themselves until the tutor is available. By doing this, students will also begin to learn to answer their questions on their own.

“Tutoring isn’t in place of teaching,” May said. “Hopefully it is supplement learning that will bolster confidence and give techniques to learn better.”

Even with the tutoring schedule set in place, Little points out that the staff is still willing to accommodate students on an individual basis if it is deemed necessary.

Located on the third floor of Dunn Library, Hawley has offered free academic assistance to full and part-time Simpson students for over three decades.

If interested in making use of Hawley’s new program, check out the tutoring schedule on the Web at http://www.simpson.edu/hawley/tutoring.html.