Making the grade

Home Features Making the grade

Nuavia Stewart

The Corsair

Being a student requires a lot of effort, determination and studying. Most classes are an hour and fifteen minutes long and if you are a fulltime student, you are probably taking between three to five classes. It’s hard to keep up.

Furthermore, if you are an adult learner, returning back to school after a period of time can prove to be a challenge for most.

You may find that your math skills have been reduced to adding and subtracting your bills, your writing abilities consist of signing your name on credit cards receipts and your creative writing talents are trying to complete a sentence in 160 character’s or less using your iPhone. And as technology grows the importance of retaining writing and math skills diminish.

Luckily there are helpful resources on campus for students who need the extra assistance.

The reading, writing and math labs located in Building 1 are helpful resources for students who are struggling to make the grade.

The labs offer free tutoring for any currently enrolled student working on essay papers and taking any one of the math courses. The tutors are there to help you develop certain skills such as grammar, documentation, word processing, and developmental reading courses, one-on-one and group tutoring from math teachers and student tutors.

Becky Tolleson is a full-time student in her third semester of college studying to be a social worker. When her daughter graduated last year, she took it as an opportunity to do something for herself and decided to return to school after 30 years. She says the transition has been smooth with the help from tutors in the labs and utilizes them as much as she can.

“It makes a lot of difference,” she said. “Sometimes it’s that one thing you don’t understand that they can pinpoint for you. They can talk one-on-one; something the professor can’t do.

“I never took algebra in high-school and now 30 years later trying to take algebra they explain it at a high-school level for me so I get it. I made straight A’s in pre-algebra, beginning algebra and intermediate because of the math lab.”

Amanda Steffan, the math supervisor and also a tutor in the math lab, says she sees the positive outcome of the students such as in the case of Becky Tollenson.

“Their grades go up,” she said. “Their understanding of the concepts increases for sure, they’re confident with their home work and more confident in their class. It’s important to have those life skills,” she says. “To come in here and get the extra help with just the basic stuff even up to the more advanced stuff is just going to benefit you more.”

Makel Fayee, a first year student at the Pensacola campus, says she is a regular of the writing lab. Reading or writing was never an issue, she says. However, punctuation has been a problem area for her, but Fayee says since she’s been using the writing lab she has seen a significant improvement.

Sara Smith has been the reading and writing lab supervisor since February. She expresses the importance of knowing the fundamentals’ of reading and writing.

“Grammar is so important in today’s world,” she said. “We’re in an information economy, so if you can’t express yourself the way you need to express yourself, then you are going to be at a disadvantage.”

“If you can express yourself, if you can communicate critical thinking skills in the form of written communication, then you are going to have a large advantage both in career and just reaching personal goals.”

Smith says in the future she wants to provide more tutors so that more students can be helped. Her plans are to expand the hours in the reading and writing labs to cater to working families so they can also have the opportunity to take advantage of the resources the lab offers. This semester Smith will begin workshops for students interested in brushing up on their reading and writing skills.

Leave a Reply