New tutoring center popular, but falling short of goals

Thirty students a week now frequent the Heritage Center’s new tutoring center.

But coordinators want more.

“It’s a new enough program that I think not a lot of people know about it yet,” said on-site coordinator Emily Allred.

Because not many people know about the free tutoring, which takes place Sunday through Thursday nights, the new center has not yet met its goal of reaching at least half of the at-risk students on campus.

However, that is an ambitious goal, and the center just opened less than a month ago, said Steve Nygaard, director of residential living.

A stigma against seeking help makes reaching that goal more difficult.

“I think a lot of students have done well all through high school and they reach a college-level class that they just don’t understand…So they don’t want to admit that they might need help in a certain subject area,” Allred said.

These are precisely the students she and the rest of the center are trying to reach, she said.

Allred explained that a student must schedule a time and actually book a tutor at the center in the Student Services Building. But the Heritage Center uses a drop-in format.

“If they just have one question, they can come and leave, or they can stay longer and do their homework there,” she said.

Thus, the tutoring at the Heritage Center is a vital extension of the Associated Students of the University of Utah’s tutoring program, which also includes the old center.

Allred said that a tutoring center once existed up in the residence halls area, but it was cut due to funding.

Leslie Giles-Smith wrote for a grant, which made the new center possible.

“We hope we can fund it long-range and let it continue,” Nygaard said.

He and Allred concurred that the center has been receiving positive feedback already.

“Just the other day, an Officer’s Circle resident told me that he was using the tutoring center for his statistics class and he found it really helpful,” Nygaard said.

Other classes that students may receive help in include math, chemistry, physics, Spanish and writing.

Each of the tutors has been screened by the ASUU Tutoring Center and has received training in accordance with College Reading and Learning Association guidelines.

The center is located in Seminar Room 1 and is open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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