By Cody Herrmann (Whetstone contributor)
The problem some students have had with the availability of tutors in the Academic Resource Center can be solved if more students use TutorTrac, the appointment program used by the ARC, staff from the ARC said.
“We need to utilize the resources we have,” said Matthew Tappan, a graduate assistant in the ARC.
Trying to get students to use TutorTrac more marks the first year of the new Coordinator of Tutoring and Writing Center, Jessica Pilewski.
Pilewski spent her years as an undergraduate studying creative writing, and then earned her master’s degree in composition. During that 6-year span, Pilewski also tutored, moving into an administration position overseeing other tutors.
She said she hoped to promote professionalism and responsibility in the student body.
“I want to create a positive environment in the ARC, one that will make students feel more comfortable about seeking help,” Pilewski said.
Pilewski wants to dramatically reduce the “walk-in” student.
Students who arrive without an appointment have had problems finding tutors available in the area they need help. Too many walk-ins often overwhelm the tutor who is available.
“Students need to know that they can’t get what they want at the last minute,” said senior Kasey Thompson, a math tutor.
Many students are unhappy with the new emphasis.
“The ARC should be casual and welcoming,” junior Zachary Lebeau said. “TutorTrac defeats the whole purpose.”
In his freshman year, Lebeau said the ARC was described as a place where students can go for help for anything, from a homework question to editing research papers.
“How do I know in advance if I’m going to need help on my homework?” Lebeau asked. “It’s frustrating that I have to make a formalized appointment for the slightest bit of help.”
Pilewski said that walk-ins are not turned away if the tutor is available and qualified to help them.
In order to advertise the new system, tutors have visited classrooms and committees of tutors meet to discuss new strategies and advertising ideas. When no tutees are in the ARC for help, tutors will be able to post on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Using social media will allow tutors to let other students know that they are there and available for help,” said junior Catherine Gross.
Tutors in the ARC hope word will spread and more people will begin to take advantage of TutorTrac.
“The freshmen have already been shown and taught how to use TutorTrac, so that’s a large part of the population already,” Pilewski said.