By Elsie Boskamp and Sarah Kirkup
The Academic Success and Tutoring Center, a free on-campus tutoring service for Stony Brook University students, opened recently with the goal of helping students with their academic needs by providing student tutors and future workshops on suitable studying skills.
“We are trying to both complement and augment the tutoring services that already exist on campus,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Dean of Undergraduate Colleges Charles Robbins said.
Similar to already established learning centers, the ASTC provides students with an additional study resource, something students seem to favor.
“When other tutoring centers are too busy, it is helpful to know that the ASTC is another option for students to go to,” freshman undeclared major Christina Kmiotek said.
The ASTC is not fully operational yet, and although it is located in the library, students are advised to contact the center and its staff through email or phone. Once fully running–hopefully by the end of the semester according to Director Shannon Jayne– students can expect “a centralized service, so that students know where they can go for help, and, equally important, faculty know where to send students who are having concerns,” Robbins said.
Potentially offering both individual and group study sessions, the center is committed to comply with student needs by implementing various tutoring and teaching techniques. Additionally, Robbins said he hopes to “start offering other kinds of success workshops, in terms of time management, writing skills and other study skills.”
Students will receive tutoring services by registering for their desired times and tutors, and the center’s director says she intends for it to offer long-time tutoring services as opposed to last minute cram sessions.
“We hope for it to be a weekly tutor session so students can get to know their tutors throughout the semester,” Jayne says.
Registration for tutoring sessions will occur online, organized by signing up for the appropriate class the student needs help with and choosing the desired tutor.
Robbins added, “Whatever it might be, we’re looking to put into place the services and people that are necessary to help students to achieve success.”
The center is funded by the academic excellence fee, which is included in student tuition. “This money pays for the salaries and the certification of the center,” Robbins said.
Although this fee is required for undergraduate students to pay, some feel it should be an optional charge based on usage. “It is unfair to make me pay for this service if I do not use it,” Kmiotek said.
But Associate Director Kristy Hare has high hopes for the center. “This will give students the tools to be successful and independent in their future academic classes,” she said.
The ASTC is currently looking to employ qualified students — those with a high grade point average, a faculty recommendation and an extensive knowledge of the subject — as tutors. After acceptance, tutors are required to go through a training course to ensure they are up to ASTC standards.