As the 2013-2014 academic year comes to a close, we must recognize a group of students that are instrumental in ensuring the academic success of their classmates- the peer tutors. These dedicated students must achieve a high GPA, have the commitment to undergo intensive training, and be able to maintain their patience to assist others in better understanding the course material.
Currently, the Peer Tutor Program at Beacon College has 24 committed peer tutors who work in the Center for Student Success, the Math Lab, the Library, and the Mac Lab. Tutoring is offered in most subjects; especially popular subjects for students to request a tutor are math, biology, History of US Government, English, and psychology courses.
Tutors are nominated by professors for their subject areas and must have at least a 3.0 GPA and have made an A or B in the course. Tutors then have two semesters of training where they meet once per week in the Center for Student Success, learning about topics including questioning techniques, ethics for tutors, learning styles, positive reinforcement, and brain dominance learning, to name just a few. The trainings are also a forum to discuss strategies and real life tutoring scenarios.
The tutors enjoy the opportunity to help their peers while they learn important communication and leadership skills. Senior peer tutor, Mel Elmonus writes, “one of the reasons I like tutoring is helping students reinforces my own previous knowledge and I am thoroughly engaged in learning about new and interesting topics. I was just fascinated recently helping a student on a paper about PTSD.” According to senior, Alicia Minirth, “my favorite part of peer tutoring has been learning about others’ LDs. I was familiar with my own, but now I’ve learned a lot about autism from working with these wonderful students.”
The program has also been valued by professors, who notice the benefit of peer tutoring inside and outside the classroom. Many use TAs in the classroom. According to Caroline Le, English Instructor, “I am deeply grateful for the wonderful peer tutors, who have been such an outstanding support system for my students. The peer tutors bolster my students’ understanding in ways I cannot hope to in the classroom, since students are at times apprehensive to tell me they don’t know something. With their peer tutors, this barrier is immediately broken down, and there has been marked improvement in subject comprehension in those students who utilize the program. It is most heartening when a student comes into class and tells me, ‘My peer Tutor explained it to me this way, and I get it now!’ Thank you, thank you for the hard work and dedication put into the Peer Tutoring Program! I don’t know what I would do without you all now.”
Those involved with the program are grateful for the support and encouragement of the campus and look forward to serving more students in the years to come.
Thank you to this years’ peer tutors!
~ Michele Patestides