Individual tutoring no longer a guarantee
Stefanie Lasuik, Contributor
An increase in tutoring needs is forcing Red River College’s Academic Success Centre (ASC) to adopt new guidelines.
Starting this year, the ASC may refer students in high-demand programs to group workshops led by one of the centre’s specialized tutors. These workshops will minimalize the amount of one-on-one tutoring.
According to ASC coordinator Lauren Phillips, requests for tutors increased by an average of 15 per cent annually in the last five years.
“I think our tutors provide excellent service and I think that’s been attracting more students,” said Phillips.
But the centre may have become a victim of its own success.
While the tutoring budget has grown, it still can’t keep up with the increase in demand, Phillips said. She said she doesn’t blame the centre’s financiers, but something had to change. Creating more group sessions was the least intrusive step the ASC could take.
“We can’t just keep expanding forever.” Phillips said. “We have to learn how to manage.”
Students will only be placed inworkshops if tutors aren’t available for one-on-one aid. If someone feels he needs help outside group sessions, he can talk to ASC staff about getting individual tutoring, but it’s not a guarantee.
If a student does get an individual tutor, he’ll be offered up to 12 hours per term, one hour per week. Time goes down to eight hours if ASC doesn’t’ have a peer tutor available, and the student gets matched with a staff tutor.
“With less individual time, I’m going to really have to work harder to discover answers on my own,
which is a good thing,” said Victor Frush, 52, who participated in individual sessions three times a week last year.
Frush said he enjoyed working one-on-one with a tutor who catered to his learning style, but thinks it will be an easier transition for him as a more experienced student to adapt to group tutoring.
There are a few policies that haven’t been changed.
English as a Second Language tutoring will remain individual, and students with diagnosed disabilities can still receive staff tutoring as an accommodation. Just make sure to speak to counselling services first to obtain a referral.
The ASC will continue to offer all tutoring services to students for no additional charge.
While a shortage of tutors isn’t the reason for the changes, Phillips said the ASC is always looking to hire. Those interested in going through tutor training should bring a recommendation from their instructor to the ASC.
Students looking for extra academic help can visit the ASC at D110 on the Notre Dame Campus or P210 at the Exchange District Campus.