Think Tank tutors prep students for success

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Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat Jared Irwin tries to work out a step-by-step method to solve a calculus problem at the Think Tank in Bear Down Gym on July 18, 2016. There are five Think Tank locations throughout campus at Bear Down Gym, Park Student Union, Student Rec Center, Manzanita-Mohave Hall and Coronado Hall.

Filled with exams and papers due, finals week can mean stress and spending an abundance of time studying on campus. The University of Arizona offers students services to help them get through this time of year, one of which is Think Tank tutoring. 

Think Tank is university-funded and offers a variety of free services to students. Made up of around 200 students, graduate assistants and professionals in their fields, they tutor students in all subjects and offer writing workshops and peer collaborations.   

“I love that Think Tank is run by students helping other students,” said Kaci Koch, a junior majoring in nutritional science and public health who uses Think Tank’s services. “It’s important that we can be helped by our peers and get that feedback on an essay.” 

Koch is double majoring and emphasized how much the tutoring services have helped her in the past. 

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Raeven Jones, a junior majoring in film and television, is using Think Tank’s tutoring services for her accounting class and “loves that there are always people ready to help, regardless of how many students show up.”

  “The tutors don’t rush through the material and they take the time to answer all of your questions,” Jones said. 

Think Tank is offered at a variety of accessible locations around campus, including Bear Down Gym, Park Student Union and the Studnet Recreational Center. For numerous hours during the week, students can schedule appointments or attend one of the many drop-in sessions.   

Madison Crutcher, a junior majoring in public health, is a supplemental instruction leader for Think Tank. She holds three one-hour sessions weekly for CHEM 151, she helps students understand difficult topics discussed in class.

“We use collaborating activities that help the students build relationships with their peers while also learning the material,” Crutcher said. “Something I enjoy doing is giving them practice problems to reinforce the material.” 

Ndekela Sakala, a public health student, is a graduate teaching assistant and this semester has been teaching supplemental math as well as giving one-on-one office hours with students who are in the Schedule for Success program. 

“I love working with my students, especially with the ones who don’t like math,” Sakala said. “Math is my favorite subject so I like helping students feel more confident about their academic abilities in general.” 

Think Tank gives a sense of community to its staff and everyone is always extremely supportive, according to Crutcher, whether it’s her supervisors who always answer her texts or other employees helping cover shifts. 

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“It has been a really positive experience working for Think Tank,” Crutcher said.

With special drop-in hours for finals week, there is tutoring for subjects such as math, science and writing, as well as business classes and workshops. 

“To help the students get ready for finals week, I am having them reflect back on the whole semester and remember the important concepts from each of the units,” Crutcher said.  

Sakala is leading a math study session for Math 109C during finals week and “wants to help students go through their study guide and see what questions they need help answering.”  

Whether studying for finals or improving a borderline grade, Think Tank offers services to guarantee a student’s success. Sakala believes that most students forget about these tutoring opportunities during this stressful week and wants this to be a reminder to all students that there are many ways to get studying help.

“If it weren’t for Think Tank, I wouldn’t have succeeded in some of my classes,” Jones said. “It’s really hard to keep up sometimes.” 


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