Tutoring and Reading Center expands services for students

November 8, 2022 (Volume 46, Number 6)
Article by Peg West

the reception desk at the Tutoring and Reading Center is pictured; sign behind desk reads Hello and Welcome

The Tutoring and Reading Center, in Kleiner Commons, has expanded its services to include reading comprehension and reading strategies. The average GPA of students who use its services is 3.01.

Photo Credit: Lauren Seymour

The Tutoring and Reading Center – formerly the Tutoring Center – is offering expanded resources for students while also responding to their evolving needs, according to Keigh-Cee Bell, director of tutoring.

Bell also said she is working to raise awareness of this vital support for students that is available to anyone at the university, not just those whose studies are centered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

More than 90 GVSU students serve as tutors for the free service, she said.

The addition of the Reading Center to the support services is the culmination of an idea by Amy Masko, professor of English, Bell said. The Reading Center is described as a collaboration between Masko and tutoring efforts.

Bell noted that in general, a significant percentage of students are below the reading level needed for college. Support is crucial given the volume and sometimes the density of material, she said.

"The overall goal of the Reading Center is to help support students in building reading comprehension skills and reading strategies to make them better, more effective readers," Bell said.

Those working with the center have also quickly learned the value of flexibility as they react to students' needs, Bell said, such as an unexpectedly higher volume of English-language learners seeking support.

"We are shifting services based on what students tell us they need rather than projecting what we think students need," Bell said.

That approach has particularly been important given the learning losses students experienced during the pandemic, Bell said. Since these experiences are new, support strategies both in the reading and tutoring services depend on listening to students.

Tutoring services are tailored to demand, said Bell, who added that she is also on a mission to demystify tutoring support and the perception of who utilizes it. There can be a pervasive assumption that tutoring is only for those who are deeply struggling, but Bell said the assistance is mostly sought by students who are "doing quite well and want to do better."

Bell noted the average GPA of Tutoring and Reading Center users this semester is 3.01. 

"We are trying to reframe what tutoring is and eliminate that stigma associated with it," Bell said. "We want to encourage students to utilize these resources that are available to them."
 

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This article was last edited on November 8, 2022 at 10:8 a.m.

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