Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Students discuss their work in class at the MESA center at American River College on April 25, 2024. (Photo: Cristian Gonzalez/CalMatters)
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    Tutoring resource center boasts new services, convenient location

    The Tutoring Resource Center (TRC) at Laney College is seeing much deserved growth this semester, as it moves into a new space on the 3rd loor of the Student Center, SC-300.

    Lisa Cook, tutoring coordinator at Laney for the past several years, says one of the greatest improvements is the TRC’s new location. The previous space for the TRC was “too isolated, with not enough student traf

    ic.” She feels the more central location of this new space, right inside the Student Center, will help draw students and tutors alike.

    “Student communication has always been a challenge,” says Cook, “you can walk in and out the same entrance and never see all the other buildings.” This means some students may not even be aware that tutoring services are being offered.

    In the past, the Math Lab and the Writing Center have been the primary resources offering extra help to students. Finding tutors in more specific subjects, such as chemistry, physics, and geography, proved more challenging. However, the new TRC currently offers biology and chemistry tutors, with programs in geography, physics, Chinese and Spanish starting Monday, Feb. 10. Cook says she hopes to break down what she describes as the “stigma against tutoring,” or the false belief that only students who are failing seek tutors. Cook holds that the opposite is true. “Good students make use of tutoring,” she says. “If you wait until you’re failing, it may already be too late.”

    This is not to say that any student is hopeless, but rather that one should seek tutoring assistance towards the beginning of the semester. Students should not wait until they are missing assignments and failing tests. After all, only so much course material can be made up before the semester is over.

    There is strong numerical evidence supporting Cook’s belief in tutoring. Most students who received a letter grade of D or F in these “gateway courses” did not make any use of tutoring services.

    A student who took advantage of tutoring resources at least 20 times during the semester was significantly more likely to score at least a C letter grade, if not higher. Those scoring B and A letter grades also showed at least some interaction with tutoring services.

    Laney currently offers a 1-unit course in tutoring, instructed by Cook, with the goal of keeping the TRC staffed with tutors well-versed in teaching skills. There is also an instructional assistant available during the open hours at the TRC, to ensure that every student of every learning type can find effective help.

    “These are people to know,” says Cook of the staff currently working at the TRC. She describes them as impressive, experienced and interesting individuals whose efforts at teaching and learning transcend personal interest.

    The Laney College Website states “collaboration” as one of the values which this school holds dear. The TRC is a vital engine in staying true to this value. Cook hopes that students already making use of the TRC will help pull new students in.

    “This [tutoring center] exists because of the activism of the ASLC, the support of the administration and the president, and the willingness of the faculty and students.” There is potential for even more support and growth for the TRC, but in order for that to happen, says Cook, “We have to demonstrate usage.”

    Students interested in becoming a tutor can look up the “Introduction to Tutoring” class in the Learning Resources department, or they can simply contact Lisa Cook directly through email, [email protected]. “Anyone is welcome to join,” says Cook, the only prerequisite is to be a student or teacher who cares about learning.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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