WSU tutoring offers more than an edit


Sophia Stephens, sophomore English studies major, helps Ph.D. student Abdulhadi Alotaibi edit his research paper, Monday, Jan. 27.

This semester, the Center for Advising and Career Development more than doubled the number of tutors it hires due to an increasing demand for tutoring services across campus.

The amount of tutors has increased from 15 to 40 since last semester, said Katherine Lovrich, an academic adviser with the CACD.

All these new student tutors await new tutees, Lovrich said.

“The biggest complaint most tutors have is not enough students come in to see them,” Lovrich said. “They like to be busy. They like to be helping. We need to get more students to take advantage of their help early and often.”

The tutors can gain as much as the students, Lovrich said.

“You learn it better when you have to teach somebody,” she said.

Students can find the list of tutors and the subjects taught on the CACD website or in Lighty Student Services 180.

All drop-in tutoring is free for students, Lovrich said. Private tutoring is available through hire.

WSU offers free drop-in tutoring across the university in addition to the CACD, Lovrich said. This includes the Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Writing Center, 24/7 online eTutoring, one-on-one tutoring for student athletes, and residence halls such as Stephenson, Regents, Gannon-Goldsworthy, Streit-Perham, and Olympia Avenue.  

The WSU Writing Center receives almost 3,000 contacts per semester, said Lisa Johnson, the director of the Writing Center.

Anyone can volunteer to be a tutor at the Writing Center, and after a semester of training and a volunteering internship a student can be qualified to become a paid tutor at the Writing Center, Johnson said.

“A lot of students think we are a grammar fix-it shop, a comma garage, and that’s not what we do,” Johnson said.

Adam Bakken, a senior elementary major and a tutor at the Writing Center, said he was bribed with extra credit by a professor to take his paper into the Writing Center his freshman year. After receiving his grade, he took his unedited paper to the professor and asked how much of a difference the tutor’s help made.

“It was a significant percentage in the grade, and so I was like, ‘Wow, that helps,’ and ever since then, even though I don’t necessarily have to or I’m not worried, I take all my papers here anyway,” Bakken said.

He said he enjoys tutoring because he learns things he wouldn’t come across on his own, like scientific papers. Even if he does not understand the material, he focuses on the organization and uses critical thinking.

“I think it’s a really good skill not many people get practice,” Bakken said.

Crystal Mora, a freshman nursing and education major, said she would be returning to the Writing Center after her positive experience with her first tutorial.

“She didn’t just give me one (piece) of advice and say, ‘Oh, I’m done now,” Mora said. “She helped me throughout the whole thing.”

Student tutors help themselves by helping others, Johnson said.

“It teaches you how to read your work critically like a teacher or an outside audience would. And to ask yourself the kind of questions you’re trained to ask,” she said.