UB opens tutoring center

Peer tutoring now available in one location for all undergraduate majors

gordon-tutoring

UB’s new Tutoring and Academic Support Services (TASS) in Capen Hall has seen roughly 1,000 students since opening on Sept. 9. 

Cheryl Taplin, director of student success and retention, proposed the idea for a center to teach all undergraduates, as UB’s previous tutoring services only catered to select majors. Now, UB offers free hour-long tutoring sessions in 130 Capen Hall Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students can book appointments ahead of time through the Student Success Portal or walk in to the office, according to Vivian Jimenez, interim director of the Office for Tutoring and Academic Support Services. The 36 undergraduate and graduate tutors are paired with students based on subject.

TASS doesn’t have a tutor for every course, but Jimenez says it will work with departments to pair students with a peer or hire a tutor in subjects they need help in.

Jimenez said TASS serves students who previously didn’t have access to tutoring services in one location.

 “There was a definite need on campus, not just for a small subset of the population, but for the whole undergraduate population to have a place where they could go and get the help that they need,” Jimenez said.

 Support services, part of TASS, offer one-on-one coaching in skills including time management, learning styles and learning to retain information. 

Before TASS, tutors were trained at various centers and departments across campus, so the center is trying to make training uniform.

 “We’re trying to train all tutors across campus out of this center, so that there’s a consistent message being delivered to the students that are being tutored,” Jimenez said.

 Students who want to be tutors must apply and be endorsed by faculty. TASS then interviews each applicant to ensure they “not only know the content, but have a personality.” 

Once selected, each tutor goes through 10 hours of training, 25 hours of tutoring and then a short observation period, according to Linda Zilgme, assistant director of the Office for Tutoring and Academic Support Services. Tutors work around 10 hours per week and receive hourly compensation.

 The center will be starting a peer mentoring program for first-generation students, and on Friday they started study groups for chemistry, physics and biopsychology of six to eight students.

The Spectrum


Brittany Gorny is the senior news editor and can be reached at brittany.gorny@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @BrittanyGorny.