Tyndale UC Tutoring Program: Keeping the Focus on Our Students
By: Denise Versteeg
A new academic year is a new beginning – and always accompanied by a sense of excitement. Whether you’re a freshman student, someone preparing to graduate in the Spring, a staff or faculty member, the enthusiasm on campus is palpable. This year holds a whole new sense of excitement as we prepare to move to the Bayview Campus sometime soon. And while many of our administrators, staff and faculty are focused on this next chapter of the “Tyndale Chronicles,” it is essential that we remember some of the key characters in our story – our students.
This fall, the Office of the Vice President Academic and Dean of the University College has announced a brand new Tutoring Program designed to provide academic assistance to undergraduate students free of charge. Students in each department will be able to request tutoring sessions, in which they can approach peer tutors to ask questions about course material, key concepts, and studying and note-taking techniques.
This program will also complement other help for students. The Tyndale Writing Centre assists students with improving their writing skills. Lina Balsamo, our Writing Centre Director, and her team of tutors are always there when students request assistance with writing or improving a research paper. But many who have been working on their writing skills still grapple with the substance of an assignment. Through the tutoring program, they will now find the extra help they need to understand the concepts taught in their courses.
In the previous academic year, new measures were set in place to identify struggling students. Registration and Academic Support Officer Sharon Khan meets regularly with these students to determine what’s needed to get them on track. Sharon is delighted that she can now refer these students to departmental tutors.
The tutoring program not only offers assistance to students struggling with course material, but also provides a new teaching opportunity to the tutors themselves – upper-level students looking to share their knowledge and experience. While tutors are paid to provide peer tutoring, most of them are grateful just for the opportunity to help their fellow students. And experience as an academic tutor looks great on your resume, especially if you’re thinking of applying to graduate school.
While this tutoring program is in its beginning stages, students and tutors have already expressed their interest in it, and gratitude for the effort being made to meet students’ needs. We’re delighted to be able to offer this extra service to our UC students, and wish them every success in their studies.