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MTSU’s free tutoring focuses on study skills, student success

As MTSU’s fall semester moves into Week 2, school officials aren’t just stressing to students the importance of study time to their overall academic success. The university is enhancing its free tutoring and offering workshops that outline how to study.

MTSU academic administrators discovered students — particularly recent high school graduates — did not know how to study, said Dr. Cornelia Wills, director in the Office of Student Success.

MTSU junior accounting student Jonathan Adams, left, receives tutoring assistance from graduate student Victor Barnes in the Business and Aerospace Building's accounting lab. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU junior accounting student Jonathan Adams, left, receives tutoring assistance from graduate student Victor Barnes in the Business and Aerospace Building’s accounting lab. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Starting Monday, Aug. 29, and through the entire semester, tutoring will be available at the Tutoring Spot on the first floor of the James E. Walker Library and other campus venues.

“If students don’t know how to study, they’re going to struggle,” said Wills, who credits Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen for the centralized tutoring concept.

After conducting a pilot, the library implemented tutoring in 2013.

In addition to study skills and learning strategies, tutoring will be available for more than 180 courses, including biology, history, math, computer information systems, recording industry, physics and more.

This initiative is driven by the ongoing Quest for Student Success, a comprehensive, strategic initiative to improve retention and completion rates.

“To be successful and improve the retention and graduation rates for all of our students, we needed to enhance our overall initiative,” Wills added.

A spring 2016 study revealed tutoring had a significant and positive impact on students compared to a matched sample of those who did not receive tutoring.

Peers will serve as tutors for  struggling or potentially struggling students. Preparing for the Aug. 29 start, about 160 student tutors met for two hours of training Aug. 27.

Four major areas critical to studying and learning include:

  • Time management.
  • Note-taking, including during lectures and while reading.
  • Where and when to study.
  • Memory and learning principles.
Junior tutor Jaylon Britt takes sophomore Raven Beverley's student ID card to scan at the Tutoring Spot in Walker Library. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Junior tutor Jaylon Britt takes sophomore Raven Beverley’s student ID card to scan at the Tutoring Spot in MTSU’s James E. Walker Library. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The fall semester tutoring sessions for study skills and learning strategies at the Tutoring Spot will be held:

  • 1 to 5 p.m. each Monday, with the exception of Sept. 5, the Labor Day holiday.
  • 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays.
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays.
  • 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

“We are fortunate to have an expert and veteran in the area of study skills and learning strategies that has agreed to conduct the sessions,” Wills said.

For accountability purposes, all participating students must swipe their MTSU ID cards when entering each tutoring session.

The Office for Student Success also offers free online tutoring in at least 11 disciplines, including math, Spanish, chemistry and accounting, through http://services.smarthinking.com.

It also features an online “Road Map for Success” at www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess/roadmap.php. Topics range from “Neat Stuff for Students” to “Academic Support” to “The Scholarly Scoop.”

For more information, call 615-494-8650 or visit www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

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