Thursday, May 29, 2014

Who Comes to The Learning Commons?

by Jodi Amato, Manager, Learning Support Services

Students come to the Learning Commons.

Many come to study on their own, to work on projects, to take monitored tests and to consult with counselors but among the most important role is the help from tutors that is offered, free, to all AOS and BPS students.

There are 35 tutors working here, both students and professionals. Samantha Cancro will graduate in July and then will be on her way to a terrific job in Italy. She has been a tutor for a year and a half. She helps students improve their knife skills. Her other areas of expertise include advising with culinary math, and coaching for the costing practical exam and the 2nd and 5th term finals. She is a peer counselor for nutrition studies too.  She urges students to come to the Center often and on a regular schedule, particularly those enrolled in the Bachelor’s Degree program. She suggests that if you work well with a specific tutor, make an appointment in advance and stick with the guide who will reinforce the knowledge learned in any and every class from algebra to wines, mixology and spirits.

Michael McCarey is a 9th term student who has worked as a tutor since the early days of planning The Library Learning Commons. He is an expert “teacher” in the same areas as Samantha and his fields include microeconomics and baking and pastry.  He says, “Many students know they need help, but tend to hesitate and try to struggle along on their own. They need only ask, and they will find a hand to help with gastronomy and with setting goals. This assistance is available  from 8-11pm Monday-Thursday, 8-7 Fridays, Saturday 10-5 and Sundays 12-9.  

Other tutors in The Learning Center specialize in languages coaching engaging in conversation or even just using flash cards.

Two new additions to the writing tutors are Stephen Wilson and Theresa Edwards.  Wilson, (as he is generally called,) has been a writing instructor since 2002 following several years as a high school English teacher. He prefers to work with students, one on one, rather than in a classroom. He offers an understanding heart and vast pool of knowledge that he shares with those who are struggling with academics. He welcomes some who are desperately looking for help and others who are hoping to increase their level of expertise. He keeps what he calls, “a handle on their progress” and provides reassurance targeted to class instruction in this supportive environment.

Theresa Edwards has been a tutor since she was in high school.  She is an accomplished professional tutor with two Master’s Degrees; an M.A. in English and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has published three books of poetry. She joins the writing faculty in the Library Commons from Marist College. Her guidance is welcomed by those needing assistance with writing a cover letter and resume and with all areas of literary writing skills. She is particularly qualified to provide guidance with ESL and ELL students and, importantly, with SKYPE: enabling students on extern to communicate with her and receive advice about their all-important Journal.

Students, whether at the beginning of their time here at the college, or close to graduation, may spend a few minutes or up to several hours with their personal tutor. In the end they achieve higher grades and answers to baffling challenges. The best thing is that they leave with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

No comments:

Post a Comment