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Tutoring Center helps students succeed

by Natalie Parkvall '02

Worried about getting behind in a class? Frustrated because you don’t understand your teachers or your homework assignments? Writing a paper, and not sure about grammar, organization, or style? Have a math problem you can’t solve?

 

Don’t worry. There is help: HPU Tutoring and Testing Center provides assistance to all registered HPU students, free of charge. The tutoring is designed to meet individual needs, and the aim is to help students master basic skills, develop learning skills, and refine analytical skills in one-to-one sessions.
 
The tutors at the Center will help “any student in any course,” said Shalece Moback, manager of the Tutoring Center, even if it’s work that is not a requirement for a class.
 
Most students who come to the Center are international students in the English Foundation Program (EFP), but undergraduate, graduate, adult, and satellite students, international as well as American, also use its services.
 
The English tutors offer help in speaking and writing for students in English or writing classes, or any class that requires a paper or oral presentation. Students can come in with papers, ranging from simple essays to extensive professional papers or master’s thesis, and get help with grammar, spelling, organization, and style. Not only that, but if you are stuck, and cannot get started with a paper, you can see a tutor to brainstorm ideas.
 
If you have trouble understanding an assignment, you can ask a tutor to explain what you need to do. They will help, but they will not do the work for you.
 
“Tutors are not expected to do a student’s homework, but rather guide them to their own solution of the problem,” said Maria Le Rossow, an English tutor at the Center.
 
For the speaking part of English tutoring, students can practice conversation, pronunciation, reading, and listening. Some students also practice oral presentations with tutors, so they can get feedback.
 
“The best part about the oral presentation practice is that students can get immediate feedback that is focused on specific things they can work on,” Rossow said.
 
There are two types of practicing oral presentation, one casual, where the student sits down together with a tutor and presents, and another more formal practice:
 
“The student can request to practice in a classroom setting with a tutor, so that the tutor can focus on the vocal projection of the student, and so the student also can practice use of gestures, or use of supplementary materials, such as a poster board,” Rossow explained.
 
The Center also has language tutors in Japanese, Spanish, and French, and occasionally Mandarin and German. Any student who takes a language class is required to see a tutor to practice conversation, reading, and grammar.
 
For students who need help in other academic areas, there are “MABS” tutors, or tutors in math, arts, business, and science. Tutoring is offered in “hundreds of courses,” said Moback. The list of courses is too long to present, but the main fields are: biology, chemistry, economics, computer science, finance, quantative methods, and math. There are also computers available for computer science, economics, and certain math courses.
 
The Tutoring Center is not only good for improving your grade for one specific paper or assignment, but also for helping you to be successful throughout your education.
 
“ It’s not just about getting a good grade for this one thing, but learning strategies and how to improve on your own when you don’t have a tutor available,” said Moback. “[Students] improve their grades in the short term…, but they also learn a lot on how to study better and how to be independent learners. [They learn] how to share their work, improve it, and revise it, so that even if they don’t use the Tutoring Center in the future, or if they’re not able to do it, they’ve learned to ask somebody to look at it, and go over it, or have study groups,” she said.
 
In November 2000, the Tutoring Center’s English/ESL (English as a Second Language) program was certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) and can now award certificates to English/ ESL tutors who have completed the required training. “After documenting our tutor training program, we were able to confirm what we already suspected: that it was more than rigorous enough to meet national standards,” said Carol Perrin, director of the Tutoring Center. “ The discovery gave us a sense of achievement, …[and] tutors receive a certificate that recognizes their competence.”
 
The Tutoring Center is located on the 6th floor in the Library Building, 1060 Bishop St. at the downtown campus. Tutoring is also available in selected subjects at the windward campus, in the Atherton Library and the Cooke Academic Center. Appointments are not necessary as help is available on a first-come,first-served basis. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
For more information, call 544-9334.

 

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