Learning Commons
Brooks Library 1st Floor, MS: 7554
(509) 963-1270

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I go to the library/to the Learning Commons?

    Brooks Library is open for Spring 2022 with safety protocols in place. The Learning Commons will be open for virtual tutoring and in-person appointments. For more information, email us at

  • Can I call the tutoring phone number?

    Yes, you can call our regular number at 509-963-1270 and leave a voicemail. We will call you back within one business day. You can also email us with your phone number included if you would like a call back.

  • How do I get tutoring from off-campus?
  • Who is providing online tutoring?

    Our trained and certified CWU tutors and coaches are facilitating online sessions. Schedule an appointment with one of our tutoring centers. Additionally, CWU is a member of the Northwest eTutoring Consortium, and all member institutions in the region provide certified tutors.

  • What are the technical requirements to access tutoring?
    • ​​​​​​Internet-enabled device (laptop or tablet)
    • Webcam and audio
    • Download the free Zoom app for CWU students at
    • Windows or Macintosh operating system
  • What do I do if I need technical assistance?

    Begin by emailing us at – we can refer you to CWU IT or to other resources.

  • Do I have to pay for tutoring online?

    ​​​​​​No. All tutoring services are already covered by your quarterly fees. All students pay $7.50 per quarter for the Learning Commons to pay for student employment. We use this fee only to hire tutors and coaches. It's a substantially good deal considering that one private tutoring session can run upwards of $30-50!

  • Is online tutoring as effective as in-person tutoring?

    Yes. We are directly transferring our in-person tutoring to online platforms, with the same trained tutors using the same methods, with the major added benefits of convenience, flexibility of session times, and extended hours. Our data indicates no statistical difference in success for students who choose online versus in-person. The key is using the service! Students who use tutoring and coaching have up to 17% higher success rates and up to a full GPA point higher.

  • What classes/subjects are available for tutoring?
      • Math Center
      • Writing Center
      • eTutoring:
        • Accounting
        • American Sign Language (ASL)
        • Anatomy & Physiology
        • Biology
        • Calculus
        • Chemistry (including Organic Chemistry)
        • Economics
        • Math (Developmental through Calculus)
        • Microsoft Office
        • Physics
        • Spanish
        • Statistics
        • Web Development (xHTML, CSS, and Adobe Dreamweaver)
        • Writing
  • How do I make an appointment?
      • Visit our schduling page and follow the prompts to make an appointment for the Math Center, Writing Center, or Academic Coaching.
      • We recommend making appointments in advance, but you can make appointments within ten minutes of the desired appointment time, depending on tutor availability.
      • No appointment is needed to attend a PALs group.
      • eTutoring sessions are held in Zoom for you to join, no appointment or cancellation necessary.
  • How do I cancel an appointment?

    Please notify an Office Assistant at the earliest convinience via email of phone call.

  • Can I share my screen with my tutor?

    Yes, using Zoom, in the toolbar in the middle of your screen you can start “Share Screen” option. You may have to request to share the screen from your tutor before having that option enabled.

  • Are you experienced in working with students with learning disabilities?

    All of our tutors have initial training on supporting students with disabilities, including learning disabilities. If we can make any accommodations for you, please work with Disability Services or let us know directly how we can help!

  • What do I need to do to prepare for an online tutoring session?

    We recommend that you attend class, take notes, check upcoming dates as a starting point, and gather your materials before your session starts. If possible, it is best to find a quiet place with limited distractions to join your online tutoring session.

  • How long is a tutoring session?
    • Session lengths differ slightly across each Center.
      • PALs groups run 50 minutes or two hours, depending on the class. Check the PALs website for the schedule.
      • Coaching appointments begin with a one-hour session for your first appointment, and 50 minute appointments after the initial session.
      • Math Center appointments are 30 minutes, and drop-in sessions without a prior appointment are available first-come, first-served for 30 minutes.
      • Writing Center appointments are 50 minutes, and drop-in sessions without a prior appointment are available first-come, first-served for 30 minutes.
  • How often can I use tutoring?
    • eTutoring has unlimited usage.
    • You may schedule appointments for up to two weeks in advance in the Math Center, Writing Center, and Coaching. If you would like to schedule out longer than that, you will need to call 509-963-1270 or email
  • What if I have to miss my appointment?

    ​​​​​​Please contact us at or 509-963-1270 as soon as possible to let us know – advance notice is preferred, and students who continually miss appointments will lose their ability to self-schedule.

  • Will my instructor be notified that I met with a tutor?

    Yes, your instructor will receive an automated message of your session. Instructors can also access reports of tutoring attendance, which is very useful if they are requesting you use the Learning Commons services for part of your grade or for extra credit.

  • I am sick/someone in my household is sick. What should I do?

    Please contact your primary care provider right away if you have symptoms of COVID-19 for professional advice. We recommend reviewing the guidelines at the Washington State Department of Health website for safety precautions and for next steps.

  • Student Resources

    Brooks Library: Meet with a CWU librarian at the “Ask a Librarian” link on the right hand column, mid-way down the page.

    Student Health and Counseling Center

    FISH Food Bank: Serving boxed meals and other bagged/boxed food items through their agency located at 804 Elmview Road (this is further from campus than their former location but food delivery can be an option based on circumstances if not able to get there without assistance -- call for more info at 509-925-5990) - their website has very updated info to include their adjustments to service delivery with COVID-19 precautions in mind. Their site also has info on other resources and current hours of operation.

    PUSH (Presidents United to Solve Hunger) resources: In addition to the list of food pantries located around CWU's campus, the link below also includes the option to "Request Assistance" - students with less than $7 on their Connection Card can "request assistance" of $25 which is loaded onto the student's card shortly after submitting the request. This resource is limited to 2 uses per academic year, and students requesting a 3rd time will be required to follow up with Financial Aid and/or with CWU's Office of Case Management before receiving additional funds (contact with these resources does not automatically result in release of additional funds but may still be helpful for longer-term financial resource needs) ... if unable to connect with FA or CM by phone between now & the end of our Tele-Work status, please direct students to my email: - Emails will be responded to during normal business days/hours (Mon-Fri, 8-5). All of this guidance will be sent to students attempting to request $ 3x or more.

    DSHS (Department of Social & Health Services): Washington State's resource for basic needs, to include food stamps (EBT Card), medical coverage, and cash assistance. Students should make their first contact with DSHS online.

    There is a CSO (Community Service Office) in Ellensburg, located on University Way between Exit #106 and Ellensburg proper. We recommend completing the state application online (see link above) and making follow up inquiries by phone; if requested to go into the office to provide documentation, please inform DSHS CSO workers if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness in case they can offer alternatives to in-person meetings. The link above should be able to notify students right away if they are available for assistance and, if yes, which kind(s). Applying does not automatically result in any student acceptance or responsibilities; the steps to take once deemed eligible will be provided in writing and are available in a variety of languages other than English.

    Financial Aid: Please Note: Students will be asked to contact Financial Aid prior to any actions taken by Case Managers to review the options available to them through CWU's Financial Aid Office, located in Bouillon Hall (first floor), by phone at 509-963-1611, and/or online.

    HopeSource: A community resource that has special resources/services available to Youth (ages through ~25 years old at last contact per Case Management), Veterans, and other community members with financial needs related to Housing, Utilities, Eviction Prevention, etc. - HopeSource is a resource recommended by many CWU students over the years - they will request students to schedule an intake with their specific service area, and are also known to provide consistent & reliable transportation for appointments with medical & social service providers (HopeSource providers included). For more information about this resource, visit their website.

    Kittitas County: Info/Resource Line 2-1-1: For additional resource options not referenced in this list, refer to this website for all local resources by topic, area, alphabetically, etc.

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