Some students struggle with their studies—especially during midterms and finals, but there is a resource on campus can help them. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides free tutoring for Puyallup campus students.
Student tutors are available to help students with their homework and to improve their understanding of the subject taught in their classes.
“I get to talk to everyone and meet people,” Chris Gores, a math tutor said. “It’s great to help people with homework when they’re in the center. They want help.”
The ARC in CTR170 helps students in a variety of ways.
Students can drop-in for math and writing tutoring. Whether students are starting at basic arithmetic, statistics or in the calculus series, they can receive assistance from math tutors.
In the writing center inside the ARC, students whose class requires written assignments can receive help with their papers or even resumes.
Some students prefer a more one-on-one atmosphere. One-hour appointments are available for students who want to improve their knowledge and grade in their class. These appointments are more private and secure a tutor at a specific time that fits within a student’s schedule.
The ARC has assigned supplemental instruction leaders to specific classes.
For example, anatomy and physiology and physics are some classes that come with supplemental instruction.
Supplemental instructors are available to students during class and certain times outside of class. Students usually meet outside of class with their leader about two to four times a week, strengthening their knowledge in the course. This type of tutoring is not mandatory for students in the class but is recommended as it can help one’s grade immensely.
The ARC has helped students academically for years and desires to continue doing so.
“The ARC helps students be a part of something and provides good study habits,” Samuel Miller, tutoring support supervisor, said.
Brook Johanson, an SI tutor attached to math 98, is assigned to a class of 35 students. Johanson usually has three to eight students a time and most prefer one-on-one tutoring.
“I like being a tutor and helping people,” Johanson said. “I also keep my math skills by tutoring every day.”
The first place Rachel Kinkella, a Running Start student pursuing math classes, goes for academic help is the Center.
“I am in the Center everyday when I have math homework. I get the help when I need it and I leave understanding my homework,” Kinkella said.
When students walk in the Center, they are supposed to do something important.
Students will be asked to sign in and state why they’re there. Miller sends data to student support services and student life’s office that shows the amount of students that go to the Center.
Mari Kruger, director of student support services and student life, said she looks at the number of students who go to the Center and the budget is based on how best to serve students.
However, if students aren’t signing in, it means the Center receives a lower budget.
“It’s necessary that students sign in; otherwise, they’re actually hurting the program,” Miller said.
This school year’s budget for the Center is $56,850.00, but in reality, the Center needs more money.
The Center needs more money because they haven’t been able to provide academic help for every student who is going to the Center.
Miller said there are many requests for one-on-one appointments and larger space. He said the Center could be crammed full of students that some students can’t find a table to sit at. They end up leaving because there’s no room for them.
Bill McMeekin, executive vice president for extended learning programs, also said the budget isn’t enough.
He said students are demanding more tutors and a priority on the list is supplemental instruction.
He wants to try to expand the Center by offering more classes for tutoring. In addition, McMeekin has two other key points. He wants to make sure students know about it and wants to know if tutoring affected a student’s grades.
When student Brittany Jarman first started going to Pierce, she always knew Pierce had an Academic Resource Center but never went to it.
Now Jarman goes in the Center every day for help with her calculus class, and studies in groups for her chemistry and anatomy and physiology classes.
“It’s a comfortable, personable place, but it isn’t advertised enough,” Jarman said. “The Center could post more flyers and posters on campus that provide information about the Center.”
“I’ve been coming to the Center all year and my grades are higher this year with harder classes than last year when I had a lower grade with easier classes,” Jarman said.
The Center could receive a budget increase if there was a demonstrated use, Kruger said.
An increase in students who use the Center is necessary in order to obtain a budget increase. However, Miller said the number of students who come in is underestimated because roughly one-half of the students actually sign in.
“The Center has a lot of benefits and has a lot more impact than it shows,” Gores said.
The Center staff tutors more students than what student support services and student life officials see. With a small budget, it can’t help as much as staff members would like.
The Center is there for students who need help academically. Not only will students receive the assistance they want, but also they will enhance the Center by signing in. Each student is a possibility for a budget increase.
“We show that people come in the door. A lot of people look at the Center as an option and if the money isn’t there, we’d be the first thing to go,” Johanson said.
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