Tutoring center eases burdens

The U offers several opportunities for students who are either struggling in their academic endeavors or looking for an extra edge to get the most out of their education.

The Associated Students of the University of Utah sponsors a tutoring center that can be accessed by all U students for $6 per hour.

Although some cringe at the mention of a fee, it’s a nominal charge “Compared to the typical $20 per hour the community typically offers,” said Debbie Hair, office manager in the ASUU Tutoring Center.

This fee opens access to a referral list of approximately 130 tutors from most subject areas who offer one-on-one peer assistance on a very flexible schedule.

The charge is implemented in order for the center to pay for office expenses, advertising, training costs and tutor salaries.

Tutors receive $7.50 per hour for their services, some of which comes from the expenditure of the paying student and the remainder is picked up by ASUU.

For students with concerns about the financial aspect of the experience, there are several means through which these tutorial services may be obtained free of charge.

The Writing Center, located on the third floor of the Marriott Library, is available free of charge for use by students in all departments.

It functions slightly differently than the ASUU Tutoring Center as students may select the tutor with whom they feel they work best and are not necessarily limited to tutors from their major.

“We help students with resumes, dissertations, power point presentations and novelists in addition to papers for class,” said Jessie Ruffus, a tutor in the Writing Center.

“Until September, we were actually the only university in the state without a writing center,” Ruffus added.

Katie Higgins, a receptionist in the center, says it is a necessary resource.

“It can be intimidating to admit you need help, but everyone needs it, even if it’s just for confirmation that you’re doing well,” Higgins said.

Free tutoring is provided by the athletics department, but these services are only available to student-athletes through either an in-house tutoring program or in coordination with the ASUU Tutoring Center on a voucher system, which allows for 20 free hours of tutoring at a time.

The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs office administers funds for the Utah Education Fund, which allows any student who is a Utah resident registered for nine or more credit hours and receiving a Pell grant to qualify for a voucher that provides 23 hours of free tutoring from CESA.

The ethnic affairs center also offers drop-in tutoring in math and English for all U students during set hours and vouchers toward the ASUU Tutoring Center for their own students or those referred to them by the Center for Disability Services.

Other departments offering free department-specific tutoring include civil engineering, mathematics, physics, the College of Law and exercise and sports science.

The Office of Residential Living also provides free tutoring for students who live in the Residence Halls.

Tutors urge students to get involved early.

“Don’t wait,” Hair said. “It’s easier to get help at the start rather than digging a hole and trying to get out.”

Ruffus agrees.

“Get help early on. We look at it as a learning experience to help students catch their own mistakes, but that can’t happen when they come in an hour before their paper is due.”

Last year the ASUU Tutoring Center provided more than 4,000 hours of tutoring for about 700 students and the Writing Center helped more than 600 students.

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