Tutoring program being developed by TRiO

OCCC students can gain many benefits from signing up to tutor their fellow students TRiO Grant Programs Director Karolyn Chowning said.

Students also can earn volunteer hours by completing the four tutoring training sessions required to take part in the program, TRiO Grant Programs Director Karolyn Chowning said.

Once all four are completed, Chowning said, students will earn a completion certificate.

Chowning said the training sessions will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. in AH 1D1 on the following dates: Tuesday, June 18, “Tutors Role”; Tuesday, June 25, “Tutoring Cycle,”; Tuesday, July 9, “Talking & Listening,” and Tuesday, July 16, “Patterns & Differences.”


“[TRiO and Student Life] are doing this as a collaboration,” Chowning said.

She said the session in April and the sessions in June, July and September will be led jointly by Student Life Assistant Director Chris Shelley and TRiO SSS Assistant Director Jessica Nelson.

“Chris and I obtained the grant,” Chowning said. “I will be doing work behind the scene, like signing people up.”

Chowning said her area already has tutors available to the students but said there is a need in other areas.

With 160 students a year, the TRiO program accounts for less than one percent of the students on campus, she said.

According to the college website, the Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“So our office, like many offices, got a lot of requests for help with tutoring,” Chowning said. “I think that the learning labs are so helpful but even the Math Lab and the Comm Lab hear regularly from students [saying] ‘No I need someone to sit down with me every week’ and ultimately that is the problem we are trying to solve. “So out of the office of Planning and Research we were awarded a one-year innovation grant to be able to provide this kind of new idea that would hopefully impact student success, retention and graduation,” Chowning said.

Nelson said the thoughts behind the training were to have available and trained tutors to help students be more successful in their classes and to increase retention.

“We had several students sign up for the June/July session and we had a session in April as well.

“We have had four students sign up for June/July so far,” Nelson said. “And we had about 18 who did at least two sessions and nine who did all four classes in April.

“Most of the students were very positive about it and appreciated it,” she said. “I had a few say that the things we discussed were going to help them be better students… .

“I actually had comments of ‘It needed to be a little bit longer’ so those [comments] were all very positive.”

Chowning said it’s not yet been determined what, if any, qualifications students would need to meet to receive tutoring.

“We are still really early in the process, we will probably offer it to anybody that feels they need it,” Chowning said.

She said the group best served may be with students who are concurrently taking more than one developmental.

“Nothing is set in stone,” she said.

“We don’t know exactly how it will be set up.”

“When I have been pitching the idea, it will either be like you sign up for a campus group or maybe just emailtutor@occc.edu and the three of us [Chowning, Shelley, Nelson] will match students with tutors.”

For more information, call Student Life at 405-682-7523 or TRiO at 405-682-7865 or email kchowning@occc.edu.

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