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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | Last updated: 2:41pm

Students find residence hall tutoring insufficient



The UA is devoted to helping students succeed. Look around: We have seven major libraries within walking distance of one another, professors are required to have weekly office hours where we can bore them with hundreds of questions. You can go to the recreation center to condition your mind and body and then there’s the heavy hitter, the Think Tank, which has three major locations strategically placed on campus where students can go to be tutored in a variety of subjects. With all these resources available, you’d think there would be nothing left to suggest, right?

Over at Think Tank, they have decided to partner up with Residence Life in order to ensure the success of students on campus. The first step of this process was “tutors in residence,” which provided students access to tutors who visit the halls for drop-in tutoring sessions.

Some of these tutors even reside in the halls, so they know the struggles many freshman are facing. So in order to try to help boost freshman GPAs even more, the Think Tank has made a new home in the East Area, offering supplemental instruction out of a Likins conference room.

Five days a week, tutors offer help with a variety of subjects ranging from German to physics as well as encourage students taking the class to form study groups. After talking to some residents, we have to ask: has the Think Tank done their homework?

Sunday through Friday, this particular service offers help in physics, microbiology, chemistry, German and Spanish. These entry-level classes can be killers — they are meant to weed out slackers from the major so many students seek all the help they can get.

But what about all the other majors? Granted the U.A. is a tier one research institution, but it also has strong programs in business, engineering, and law. So why not include these programs among those offered in the halls? The supplemental instruction seems to be targeting students who strive for a bachelors of science, rather than the community as a whole.

The supplemental instruction is almost there with the full package, but not quite. The underwhelming advertisements for this service and the lack of courses offered are deterring residents from participating.

Freshman Jayson Astor, who is studying psychology, admits to never using the Think Tank before, but expressed interest in what supplemental instruction has to offer. When informed on the courses available, he said, “None of those would really do me much good; they don’t correspond to any of the classes I need for my major.”

Other students, like sophomore Glenn Kaplan, have used the Think Tank before but feel slighted when it comes to the fact that, “at Likins, they don’t offer anything for pre-business.” Another pre-business sophomore, Brandon Johnson, said that supplemental instruction is “a good idea. If I were in those classes I’d be more likely to use it because I would just have to go downstairs.”

Overall, supplemental instruction in the residence halls is a good idea, it just needs an improvement in execution.

Reaching out to only a percentage of the students makes others feel snubbed. It’s not possible to have supplemental instruction for every major, but a more diverse selection would be beneficial. Helping underclassmen find the assistancethey need to be successful is a process that takes countless allies to accomplish.


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