Assumption’s Peer Tutors: Your Secret Weapon

By: Anna Schroeder:

It is finals week at Assumption College. Students are scrambling to study, professors are swamped with grading, and the overall stress-levels of everyone on campus are higher than they have been since the last round of exams.

There are many on-campus resources for students during this week such as De-stress Fest, where cute animals, food and masseuses are brought in so that students can relax and take a break from studying. However, there is one resource available all year round which may be especially helpful during this hectic week: The Academic Support Center.

According to the center’s website, “the Academic Support Center provides several one-on-one services to assist students at Assumption College with strategies for academic success. All of the programs and services concentrate on important skills that are essential to a college student: time management, organization, and note-taking.” It is located on the second floor of the D’Alzon Library, in the Plourde Wing.

This helpful center uses peer tutors, meaning everyone who works as an educational assistant there is also a student at Assumption themselves. Anyone who currently attends this school may call the Academic Support Center number or simply walk into the center and make an appointment with a tutor who specializes in the subject they need assistance with.

Many may think a tutor who is still in school themselves will not be able to truly assist them. However, the tutors who work in this center believe differently:

Rose Horell, a general writing tutor at the Assumption Academic Support Center, claimed, “peer tutoring allows us to be a little more familiar with the student’s experience. Coming from a very similar mindset helps us know how we might best help the tutee learn the material and not just complete the assignment.”

All of the tutors in the center have received excellent grades in the subject they assist in, and all who apply must get a letter of recommendation from a professor who has had them in class.

Horell also suggested it may be easier for students to work with someone who is at the same educational level as they are, saying, “rather than being an authority figure, we model good student behavior and hope that students will feel more comfortable working with a peer.”

Lauren Crockett, a Senior tutor in the topics of philosophy and theology, spoke about how students should not be anxious or embarrassed to ask for help from this resource.

“If you’re embarrassed to make a tutoring appointment, you should know that tutors themselves frequently make use of tutoring services. Asking questions and having someone check over your work are both marks of good students; so seeing a tutor is not a sign of inferiority or inability to keep up with coursework,” Crockett said.

According to Allen Bruehl, Director of the Academic Support Center, more than 300 first-years alone had an appointment or appointments in the past year. Over forty tutors work for this program, and there is a wide range of subjects that they may cover from math, to physics, philosophy, English and much more.

While there are appointments made every day at the Academic Support Center, finals week is especially busy for the tutors.

“The community of the Academic Support Center provides camaraderie during this challenging week; and working with students going through the same stress that you are helps to alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety that frequently accompany the last week of the semester,” Crockett said when asked about how she, as a tutor, handles the stress of finals.

Horell also commented on how she and other tutors deal with this end-of-year stress: “Finals week always gets a little hectic because we continue to work as well as to tutor… we are usually even busier than normal. All the tutors at the Center work very hard to balance their responsibilities. It can be a bit stressful but can also be very rewarding.”

Both Crockett and Horell encouraged Assumption students to make an appointment if they are feeling overwhelmed with a certain upcoming final, whether it be to check over the grammar on a final essay, discuss a confusing concept in chemistry, or practice vocabulary words for Spanish: The Academic Support Center is there to help.

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