The end is near. There are only four weeks left in the fall semester, and you still do not know how to speak Spanish or organize an essay. But fear not, the Learning Assistance & Resource Center and the Writing Center are here to help.It is not too late to sign up for a tutor at LARC, which is located at 223 Lawrence Hall. Nov. 21 is the deadline to sign-up for extra help.
Tutors can assist in a number of topics. Subjects range from math and biology to psychology and German. Most of the help is geared toward 100-and 200-level classes, but exceptions are made if there is a high demand. Registering for a tutor can be done between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays.
When assigned a tutor, a student meets with them once a week at a designated time. Sometimes the student will be part of a small group of other students who need help in the same subject. Tutors can assist with homework or help one study for an exam. They will not do the work for someone, but will teach strategies to help learn concepts.
If a course is “high risk,” meaning the class has a history of giving students D’s and F’s, LARC can set a student up with a tutor that will come to the class with them. They employ 81 tutors, 20 of which are assigned to go to classrooms. Hundreds of students have used this service.
After the deadline, Gerardina Kenney, LARC’s Interim Director, tells students to check out the various clubs around campus.
“If it’s too late to get a tutor, they can go to the Math Club or the Alchemist Club,” Kenney said.
LARC also offers review sessions for people taking the PRAXIS exam. They cover the material and techniques for the math and writing portions of the test. Sessions are spread out over a 10-week period.
On LARC’s website, there are tips to help students survive finals week. Suggestions include reviewing early, taking long breaks before rereading the same material, looking over previous tests and keeping normal habits of eating, sleeping and exercising as it gets close to test time.
The Writing Center is also available for students who need help with papers. Located at 214 Lawrence, the staff at the Writing Center is ready and willing to help with short essays to long research papers.
Students can schedule an appointment or walk in. Appointments can be made in person, over the phone or online. If you have a paper that is 400 words or less, you can submit it online and someone will email you back with comments and suggestions.
Rob Jones, the Assistant Director of the Writing Center, warns that it gets busy at the end of November and the beginning of December and advises students to make appointments ahead of time.
Their help is not limited to English majors only. They can guide you through any type of paper, regardless of the subject.
“We get a wide range of majors and levels,” Jones said.
No matter what stage of the writing process someone is at, a tutor can help him or her along. Concerns with research, content, correctness or organization can be alleviated during a 25-minute session. And one can come in as many times as they want.
Just as it is with LARC, the Writing Center is not meant for students to have someone else do their work for them.
“We are not a proof-reading pit-stop,” Jones said. “We want them to be engaged in the writing. We give them a lot of voice.”
During a tutorial, students are first asked what they want to accomplish. Then, they are asked to read their paper aloud as to catch mistakes that might not be caught when reading silently.
The Writing Center will also send a Tutorial Response Form to a student’s professor if they want to show that they have put in extra effort. Some professors even give extra credit for going.
Students interested in tutoring at the Writing Center are urged to call Dr. Margaret Ervin, the Director of the Writing Center. Undergraduate students need to ace ENG 397 to be eligible for a position.
“Working in the Writing Center is one of the best career development opportunities for students who are interested in teaching as a profession,” Ervin said.
Finals week does not need to be hell week. There is still time to prepare.
Lindsay Banecker is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at LB596846@wcupa.edu.