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Student Learning Center

Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide for Faculty

 

Q: What is the Student Learning Center?

A: The Student Learning Center (SLC) provides services for Brockport students who wish to receive help with meeting their academic goals. A comprehensive peer tutoring program, study skills workshops, computer access, and ample reference materials make the SLC a place that promotes student success. Open 45 hours a week, SLC services are available to all Brockport students free of charge—no application is necessary.

Q: What specific services does the SLC offer?

A: The SLC offers tutoring in math, writing, and in many courses as well as individual study skills consultation. Faculty may also refer individuals to SLC professional staff to assess students’ academic support needs. In addition, the SLC houses a computer lab that is open to all students who wish to write papers, connect to the library databases, or access e-reserves. Extensive reference materials, including textbooks, study skills and writing handbooks, DVDs, and software, conveniently provide students with information that can gelp them in achieving academic success. Click here for highlights from our most recent Annual Report.

Q: Who uses the SLC?

A: Both undergraduate and graduate students from many different disciplines use the tutoring services at the SLC. During the 2011-2012 academic year, the SLC provided assistance to 1,563 students, which is nearly 20% of the entire student body! Tutoring in math and writing is open to all students. Tutoring for specific courses is designed for students enrolled in those courses.

Q: Who are the tutors?

A: SLC tutors are undergraduate or graduate students who are selected based upon faculty recommendations, academic excellence, and a willingness to help others. In addition, six graduate assistants from the Departments of Mathematics and English tutor for 15 hours per week each semester. The SLC employs approximately 100 Brockport students each year.

Q: What can I tell my students to do to prepare for tutoring?

A: Tutoring provides students with the opportunity to work with peers on problem-solving, study strategies, writing strategies, and content clarification in an informal setting. To make the most of the tutoring experience, we recommend that students complete all reading assignments, attend classes, attempt to solve homework problems or understand assignments, and have specific questions in mind to discuss with the tutors. Finally, students should always bring their textbook(s), assignment sheet(s), class notes, paper, software, and course syllabi for reference as needed.

Q: What happens in a tutorial?

A: While no two tutoring sessions are alike, we provide our tutors with a template for facilitating discussion and problem solving that includes the following components:

  • Identification of issues or concerns
  • Goal-setting for the session
  • Discussion of the material and the assignment
  • Explanation or demonstration of problem solving, study strategies, writing strategies
  • Closure

In addition, the tutors are trained to ask clarifying questions, to determine what students know and what they do not know. The tutors expect students to actively participate in the tutoring process by arriving prepared and asking questions.

Q: Do tutors help with take-home examinations?

A: No, tutors are instructed not to assist students with take-home exams without the instructor’s permission. Our experience has shown that some instructors welcome the assistance, while others do not, so we remind our tutors to be aware of these issues. It is a best practice for instructors to send a copy of the take-home exam to an SLC staff member. From here, we can share the exam with the tutors so that they can recognize the exam problems and thus not provide any inappropriate assistance.

Q: What is the best way for me to encourage my students to use the SLC?

A: Some faculty members make a general announcement about SLC services; others make recommendations to specific students who are struggling with course material; and others require students to come, particularly for writing issues. Many faculty members find it beneficial to include a brief section in their syllabus about the Student Learning Center. It is helpful to remind students that the SLC is a free service that utilizes peer tutors. Grades and credit are not given. Students may come as often as they like.

Q: Does the SLC keep records of student visits?

A: The tutors are required to keep detailed records of every single student visit. Students fill out information cards at the beginning of each tutoring sessions, and tutors write comments on the cards at the end of each session. Tutors also initial the cards so that we know who worked with whom. These cards are stored in hard copy and in our database. Faculty members who wish to know which of their students used our services are free to browse through our records and/or call to have a staff member check.

Q: How do you assess the programs?

A: Student and tutor feedback and quantitative analyses of usage and retention rates are among the many ways we measure the success of our program.

  • Tutor Success Survey
  • Student Success Survey
  • Usage Reports
  • Retention Study
  • Student Opinion Survey
  • Graduate Assistant Self-Assessments

Q. How can you help our students improve their writing?

A: We have an extensive writing tutoring program staffed with tutors selected by faculty, including three graduate assistants from the department of English. These tutors are trained to help students across the disciplines develop the writing strategies they need to be successful. Faculty who wish to have their students receive more specialized writing tutoring may contact the SLC to discuss discipline or class-specific writing tutoring. The SLC will hire tutors recommended by faculty to provide writing support to students in specific disciplines or classes. Please contact Elisabeth Gonzalez to discuss your needs. Students who are not able to physically get to the SLC may ask for remote writing tutoring services.

 

For more information, please contact Michael Dentino, Director.