Tutoring program for students, by students

Student Life and TRiO have teamed up to provide students with free weekly small-group tutoring as a part of Complete College OCCC, a school-wide program that aims to raise graduation numbers.

Karolyn Chowning, TRiO director, said the tutoring sessions were offered after the college identified a need for them.

“Students continually [said], ‘No, I need someone to meet with me one-on-one,’ [as opposed to going to a learning lab for help with work] and outside of TRiO …

“It was just an identified need that wasn’t being met.”

Chowning said this new form of tutoring and student-volunteer interaction provides unique opportunities for all.

She said the college anticipates a great result in terms of students improving their grades and thus, retention rates.

Tutoring is available for all students enrolled in any College Prep math class and College Prep English I and II.

The tutoring will be provided by trained student volunteers, who have been participating in training sessions designed to make them more capable when it comes to helping their fellow students.

Students had to complete four sessions of training to be eligible to provide tutoring.

The small groups will schedule no more than five students being tutored in one group, she said.

Ideally, they will all meet with one tutor who will be able to provide aid to everyone, based on the small size of the groups.

Chowning said the primary benefit of the tutoring program is seeing retention rates rise “not only for the students being tutored but for the tutors themselves,” she said.

“We are really hoping that both students and volunteers are accountable to one another.”

Students are mainly being recruited for the sessions through Success In College and Life courses, according to the informational flyer distributed by TRiO.

Depending on the success of these initial tutoring sessions, the tutoring program may be continued or expanded in the future.

Chowning said, ideally, the college would like to expand tutoring sessions to cover other classes if space and funding allowed for it.

The Complete College OCCC initiative is a part of the school’s new academic plan.

Chowning said those who are interested in becoming tutors can enroll for the training sessions next spring.

For more information, contact Chowning at 405-682-1611, ext. 7620, or email kchowning@occc.edu.

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