By Shawna Leader/The AS Review
Midterms are finishing up this week and finals are a little over a month away, but there’s no need to panic if a class isn’t going quite as well as you would like. Academic tutoring centers offer free assistance in a variety of subjects, including math, English and chemistry. Also, for students who want to learn how to use software programs for a class or project, tutoring is available in that area as well. Read on for information about these services.
Tutoring Center, Old Main 387
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday-Thursday: 6 to 9 p.m. (Wilson 290)
The Tutoring Center’s main focus is math and science, but tutoring for other areas is also available, Assistant Director of Tutorial and Academic Skills Barbara Quick said.
There are three formats of tutoring available. Students can drop in at the Tutoring Center and receive assistance with their homework. A second option is tutor-assisted study groups. Study groups are formed for subjects, such as chemistry, that have a high demand for tutoring, Quick said. Students can also make an appointment with a tutor, but it would be outside of the Tutoring Center. Regular individual tutoring is not available due to lack of funding, Quick said, but the Tutoring Center does offer individual tutoring for the development of study skills such as time management.
The Tutoring Center also hosts workshops in the residence halls and in classrooms. This quarter, the Center plans to have a workshop on preparing for the math skills test.
Tutoring can be focused and adjusted for students in a way that is often not possible in the classroom because professors don’t always have time to focus on one student’s needs, Quick said.
“Last year we provided over 20,000 hours of tutoring service,” Quick said.
Writing Center, College Hall 09
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday-Thursday: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Wilson 290)
The Writing Center is a resource for students who want assistance with academic papers at any part of the process, Writing Center Coordinator Roberta Kjesrud said.
According to Kjesrud, the Writing Center “arose from the realization that writing is hard with a group of people. It’s better one-to-one.”
Writing assistants hold conferences with students in the Writing Center or online. The online audio-visual component allows the student to hear the writing assistants discuss the paper and see their paper and what is specifically being discussed.
Writing assistants focus on clarity as well as editing for mistakes, Kjesrud said. But the student is also involved in the process.
“Some people think that this is the place where you ‘fix’ your paper. It’s not; it’s a collaboration,” she said.
Language Lab, Haggard Hall 15
Sunday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the drop-in Language Lab, upper division students tutor lower division students in all the languages studied at Western. Linguistics tutors are also available.
The Lab provides over 800 foreign films, which students can check out and watch in the Language Lab, dictionaries and satellite television from Paris and Madrid, Spanish Professor John Underwood said.
“It’s very convenient and … working with students in this informal basis works well,” Underwood said.
Accounting Tutoring, Parks Hall 230
Schedule varies by quarter; visit http://www.cbe.wwu.edu/clubs/bap/tutorialcenter.htm.
The Western Washington University Beta Alpha Psi/Accounting Society provides a free tutorial center for students taking Accounting 240, 245 and 341, Executive Vice President of the Theta Phi Chapter, Beta Alpha Psi Yelena Tikhonova said. Tutoring for Accounting 375 is sometimes available as well.
Student Technology Center, Haggard Hall 2nd Floor
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
At the Student Tech Center (STC), students can sign up for software tutoring with a group or a one-on-one session, STC Computer Assistant Kim Galdow said. Students can sign up through myWestern or call the office at (360) 650-4300.
Group sessions cover all programs in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite as well as iWeb, iMovie, Garage Band and Final Cut, Gladow said. For individual sessions, any program in the lab is available for tutoring. If there are enough individual questions about a certain program and there is not already a group session available for it, the STC will create one, Gladow said. The STC does not offer tutorials for very specialized programs such as GIS, however.
The STC mainly addresses software-related issues, Gladow said. Students with hardware and Internet issues should visit the ATUS Help Desk, located in Haggard Hall 123.
Students can also print color copies for projects, as well as posters, in the STC.
“As curriculums in classes are revised to include more technology-related projects … a lot of students can’t get that training anywhere else, necessarily,” Gladow said.
Math Center, Bond Hall 211A
Sunday: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Math Center is for students who would like assistance with calculus and higher level math.
“We see students of all different levels in the Math Center, some getting A’s and some struggling to pass,” Senior Instructor Kim Ragsdale said.
The Math Center and other tutoring resources have a great value to the campus, Ragsdale said.
“Resources like the Math Center are incredibly important in campus. Not only do they provide places where students can get help in challenging courses, but they also provide informal academic spaces where students can work in groups, discuss the material they are learning and form connections with others in their classes and at the university.”