A tutor a day keeps the failing grades away

Math Learning Center, Writing Center provide in-person assistance

The+Writing+Center+is+open+from+10+a.m.+-+4+p.m.+and+has+25+writing+consultants.+

The Writing Center is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and has 25 writing consultants.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen reporter

For the upcoming fall semester, online and in-person resources are now available for students to improve their math, writing and STEM skills.

Writing Center

At the Writing Center, students can work with consultants to improve their in courses, like English 101, History 105 and other UCORE classes, which requires a significant amount of writing, said Writing Center Director Brooklyn Walter. 

The Writing Center’s hours are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., but it may expand its hours later in the semester and hold evening hours from 5 – 7 p.m. in the library, Walter said. Additionally, they will allow students to visit the Writing Center either by dropping in or making an appointment.

“Before the pandemic, we were completely a walk-in service. Last year, we were appointment-based completely. This year we’re gonna have a hybrid,” Walter said.

There are around 25 consultants who work at the Writing Center to suggest resources for students and discuss their writing with them, she said. 

“I think the name of our employees helps a lot when you think about what we do,” Walter said. “We call the people in the writing center consultants because they really do consult.”

Not only do students acquire skills from the experience, but the consultants themselves benefit as well. Walter said student consultants gain new knowledge of types of writing and learn from people in all degree programs.

“I think writing can be kind of a lonesome endeavor. Especially in college, we ask students to do a lot of writing that’s solitary,” Walter said. “So much of writing is social. There’s nothing to be nervous about when you’re here at the Writing Center.”

During the 2021-22 school year, the Writing Center’s attendance decreased. Before the pandemic, there were about 2,500-3,000 visits per semester, but this past year, there were only about 3,000 visits. Walter said this may be a result of students’ transition from online school. 

“This semester we’re gonna do our best to reach out to students,” Walter said. “College life maybe isn’t as on campus as it was years ago.”

She said she hopes the number of students using the Writing Center will increase this coming semester.

Voiland College Student Success

Another free tutoring resource is Voiland College Student Success, which is primarily available to students in Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Shelley Pressley, Voiland College associate dean, said VCSS will begin tutoring on Aug. 23, and it is open Monday through Friday, and its hours are listed on the VCSS website

This semester there are about 15-20 tutors, Pressley said. Many of them have returned from past years at the VCSS.

Pressley said the VCSS is a good resource for students since it gives them the opportunity to connect with peers and work through concerns with their coursework.

“Whether it’s a study group or a peer that can help, it’s good to know that you’re not the only one struggling with it,” Pressley said. “Everyone has such different learning styles, and the way the professor presents the information might not be the best way to learn it.”

eTutoring

An online resource for students is eTutoring, which has been available at WSU since 2004. eTutoring Director Sarah Bergfeld said the app is available for students from 5 a.m. to midnight to assist students with math and writing. 

WSU was one of the first schools to offer eTutoring, which began three to four years after the program’s creation in 2001, Bergfeld said.

WSU has 130 tutors and gets about 6,000 student sessions a semester, Bergfeld said. When the pandemic began, eTutoring experienced major changes, including an increase in traffic. 

“Basically students had no place to go except online. Our Zoom usage multiplied by five,” Bergfeld said. “We also doubled our tutoring staff to cover such a change.”

Bergfeld said eTutoring is extremely helpful for students because it is a walk-in service all students can use, and WSU students’ accounts are already set up. 

Math Learning Center

For students who need help with math courses, the Math Learning Center is available Sunday through Friday starting Aug. 22, and its hours are listed on the MLC website, MLC Coordinator Anna Matveeva said.

The MLC is a drop-in service, and there is no appointment process, she said. There are about 40 tutors who work at the MLC.

Students commonly visit the MLC for assistance with Math 101 and 103 because those are entry-level math courses, Mateeva said. Before the pandemic, the number of students who attended per semester was at least 16,000.

“After we came back here in fall 2021, we only had 8,000 visits in fall semester and 5,000 visits in spring semester. Attendance was down significantly, but we hope now [with] students coming back, we’ll see more people here in the MLC,” she said.

Also as a result of the pandemic, the MLC transferred to online operations when all classes were held remotely, she said. Once classes returned to in-person instruction, some online hours remained in place for students who preferred to be tutored online.

Tutoring at the MLC usually benefits the tutors because it helps them improve their math skills, Matveeva said. Those who plan to become teachers in the future also gain good experience.

“Since there are many tutors who work here, there is always a tutor who will be a good fit for students,” Matveeva said.