Program invaluable to students struggling in school

By: Cameron Evans

Red River College Polytechnic has a new online peer tutoring program, allowing students to get academic assistance safely and effectively during COVID-19.

Brendan Wakeman, a statistics and technical graphics tutor, explained the ins and outs of the program and how the program’s coordinator, Melissa Coyle, schedules appointments.  

“She’ll ask us when we’re willing to free up time to work with people and then she’ll make the time slots that people can book,” said Wakeman

A joint study from Texas A&M University and the University of Kansas shows peer tutoring provides moderate to large academic benefits. It also provides a way for student to make extra income.

Peer tutoring offers the opportunity for those struggling to gain extra help outside of course time and compensation for those willing to tutor other students.

Students must fill out an application form, get a recommendation from an instructor for each course they wish to tutor, and complete an introductory course in RRC Polytech’s Learn site.

Student browses the peer tutoring website./CAMERON EVANS

The peer tutoring program aims to be both accessible and beneficial.

Wakeman said he loves how easy it is for students to book appointments. This added flexibility allows him to seamlessly balance regular coursework and tutoring.

The process of becoming a peer tutor is quite simple, said Wakeman. Students are selected after submitting an application and receiving a letter of recommendation from an instructor. 

Coyle agrees students need to be in good academic standing to become a tutor. 

“Students need to receive a B or greater, but most of our applicants are A or A+,” she said. 

The instructor for the course they want to tutor must then provide a letter of recommendation to complete the application process. 

According to Wakeman, when it comes to compensation for peer tutoring, there are two rates: a minimum wage for individuals and a higher rate for group tutoring.

Wakeman said struggling students often seek peer tutoring, especially a few days out from exams.

“The time leading up to exams is critical. Not for studying but for being in a healthy mental state,” Wakeman said.

He said adequate preparation in the form of peer tutoring will allow students to feel more relaxed.

Students can find more information on RRC Polytech’s Peer Tutoring Program webpage. Students can also email for further support.