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Academic Achievement

Academic Tutoring

Introduction

University courses are designed to be intellectually demanding. However, there may be times that your course work may seem too difficult. One benefit to TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) students is that we provide free access to the tutors at the Learning Commons within Central Washington University's (CWU) Brooks Library.  The Tutoring Program offers individual and small-group assistance to qualified students for many CWU courses. The goal of the Program is to help students learn techniques for independent and successful study.  
 

Obtaining a Tutor in the Learning Commons

There are several steps in order to acquire a specific tutor for a course: 

First, you must schedule an appointment with your TRiO Advisor and share with them that you need a tutor.  Your advisor will provide you with a signed Tutor Program's Tutee Form authorizing you to be placed in tutoring services.  You must fill out the rest of the form, sign and submit it immediately to ARC 190C in the Learning Commons at CWU's Brooks Library.  Finally, the Tutoring Program will attempt to find you a tutor for the requested course and contact you with the time and place for your first tutoring session. 
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs and more found at the Learning Commons Tutoring Program Website.

Who will be my tutor?
Your tutor will be a student who has previously taken the class and excelled in it.

How many hours of tutoring may I receive?

Tutors normally meet with students for 50 minute sessions twice per week. You are required to attend regularly. If you do not feel that you can commit to meeting regularly twice a week, every week, then discuss with your advisor the use of other campus resources, such as SI, the drop-in lab, TAs, etc.


If you would like to meet for more or less than 2 hours per week, you will need the approval of your advisor at TRiO Student Support Services.

What happens at tutoring sessions?

Tutors are not here primarily to explain information to you The goal of tutoring is to help you help yourself. Thus your tutor will assist you in developing learning strategies that will be effective for you in this class. For example, if you have an exam coming up, your tutor may help you predict test questions and then quiz you over those questions. If you are having difficulty solving a math problem, your tutor may help you develop a list of steps involved in solving the problem.
Tutors are trained to get you actively involved in the sessions--you will be the person doing most of the talking in the tutoring sessions.


How do I prepare for tutoring sessions?

  1. Attend class.
  2. Take good class notes, complete assigned readings, work as many problems as you can before tutoring.
  3. Study independently and come with specific questions to your tutoring sessions.


Please note, tutors will not explain content of material that hasn’t been read, re-teach information due to class absences, or prep students who haven’t studied for exams.

How do I cancel a tutoring session?

If you can’t make it to a session, it is your responsibility to call the tutoring office at (509) 963-2131 the day before tutoring is scheduled. The only exceptions are in cases of illness or emergency, for which we ask for as much notice as possible.

Tutoring privileges will be forfeited for the quarter under the following circumstances

  • More than four total absences
  • More than one no-show (absence without notification)


May I drop tutoring?

Yes, you may drop tutoring at any time. Please call the tutoring office to give at least one day's notice, so your tutor can be notified. Also, let the tutoring office know if you drop the class in which you are tutored (Don't depend on advisors to do this).
As a TRiO member, please discuss your desire to drop tutoring with your advisor prior to dropping tutoring or class.

Supplement Instruction (SI)

What is SI?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides free, out-of-class study sessions led by a CWU undergraduate student who has already taken and excelled in the course. SI sessions are open to all CWU students enrolled in the SI-targeted class, and attendance at SI sessions is voluntary and confidential.

Used throughout the U.S. and the world, SI programs have proven highly successful in increasing student achievement and retention. Students who regularly attend SI sessions increase their chance of understanding the course material and improving their grade. In fact, on average, these students will earn a grade one-half grade higher than classmates who never attend SI.

 

Objectives of SI:

  1. Increase student skills in comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving.
  2. Integrate review of course content with study skills and learning strategies.
  3. Model collaborative learning.
  4. Reduce attrition rate in high-risk courses.
  5. Increase re-enrollment and persistence by participating students.

What classes have SI?

Selected courses from the university's Breadth requirements that have high enrollments and high rates of poor performance or failure have SIs. In addition, upper division, major courses that are traditionally "bottlenecks" (courses with which students tend to have a high rate of difficulty) often have SIs.

How SI works:

SI sessions are generally held two or three times per week throughout the quarter. Many SI leaders also hold extra sessions before exams. Student attendance at all sessions is voluntary. The SI leader's primary purpose is to connect course content with study skills. In SI, students connect what-to-learn with how-to-learn.

Why SI works:

SI helps students learn how to study. In each session, the leader demonstrates a new study skill or reinforces a familiar one. Students use their study skills on relevant course content. Participants also learn to apply new skills during the session.

What students say about SI:

  • "SI sessions have helped me with tests, critical thinking, and note-taking."
  • "...helped me understand the material by discussing it which helped me gain confidence and understand book material"
  • "They have helped me to improve my study habits, and have made me more committed to my major."
  • "...gives another perspective to the problems instead of just that of the professor"
  • "The SI leader explained things in a different way to help me understand the material better"
  • "helped by giving additional quality study time."
  • "...they helped me further understand the things covered in class. Different outlooks and approaches are better for some people, because there is more than one way to skin a cat. The extra practice and help was crucial to my understanding of the course."
  • "...helped me see some concepts I overlooked in the lecture/book"

SI Leaders:

  • SI leaders are selected and trained for SI by the program coordinator. These student leaders have already successfully completed the course.
  • Instructors work closely with the SI leader to assure that there is a direct connection between the course material and the SI sessions.
  • As model students, SI leaders attend class lectures, take notes, read assignments, and take exams.
  • As facilitators, they guide study sessions but expect students to be actively involved in the learning process. The leader's chief purpose is to promote independent learning.
  • What does an SI Leader do?

 

The SI leader is a guide who helps other students share and master information as a group.
The leader attends the course for which he/she is assigned and, during meeting times which are scheduled to coincide with students' schedules, works with students to review lecture notes, clarify text material, prepare for tests, and evaluate and improve learning strategies.

Contact Information:

Janine Graves
Library ARC 190C
Phone: (509) 963-2131
Email: gravesj@cwu.edu