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Extending a helping hand

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“I don’t have the time.” “I’m afraid someone will laugh at me.”

Those are the two most commonly cited reasons why students don’t use the tutoring center at MATC. Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” MATC utilizes their students to help other students in need. The tutoring center has tutors available for students in a wide range of subjects ranging from math to English. The best part of it is, it’s completely free!

Roger Plath, district manager for Academic Support and Tutoring Services, manages all seven academic support centers at MATC’s campuses. He does receive a great deal of help from his educational assistants.

Not only is there tutoring available in person, there is an online tutoring service for students who don’t have the time or can’t come in to the center. About 20 workshops are offered each year on writing skills and other subjects. Plath has been doing this job for the last 10 years. He said, “There are about 90 tutors total throughout the campuses. If we don’t have a tutor in the subject you need help in, we could try and find you a tutor.” Plath added, “We want to make sure you pass the course.” Plath believes if one needs help, one shouldn’t be afraid to ask. Plath expressed that, “If people come to tutoring, they will do well. Nationally people who go to tutoring have one grade point higher than those who don’t.”

Only about 6% to 7% of students at MATC utilize the tutoring center.

Chelsa Hall is an anatomy and physiology tutor. She stated, “I love the feeling when I see it click for the student I’m tutoring and they light up.” If students can have such a positive experience with tutoring, why is the center so underutilized? One reason is the lack of prioritizing time for getting help.

Cindy Mathwig is a math tutor and instructor. Mathwig said that students are always saying they don’t get it but she doesn’t see them in the tutoring lab. “A lot of our students come from backgrounds where they aren’t just students. They are mothers. They have jobs. The time that they come to school is just enough for them to come to class. They have too many irons in the fire,” she noted.

Denise Lowe is a student and she said, “Time is my problem. Even if they had longer hours, I still wouldn’t come. I’m tired.” For many of the students, the lack of time is the biggest factor when it comes to the underutilization of the tutoring center.

Students who would like to find out more about the tutoring center and what it offers can walk into any of the centers on campus and speak to the staff. Plath is also available for questions. His email is [email protected]

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Extending a helping hand