Free tutoring offered on campus

The Learning Assistance Program offers free tutoring for all students at Northern Kentucky University, a service that benefits student tutors as well as students.

The LAP is a work study program that allows students extra help on assignments and tutors extra cash.

The program is divided into three sections: the writing center, the math center, and academic tutors.

Students who seek help with writing projects of any kind and any stage of writing may come to the wrting center in the Business Education and Psychology Center, room 320.

Writing consultants work with students on various essays, reports, research papers and letters of recommendation.

Students may visit the writing center for any class.

Likewise, those students seeking help with math may visit the math center located in the Applied Science and Technology Building, room 343.

Academic tutoring can be scheduled in BEP 230 or by TutorTrac. TutorTrac is an online scheduling program that allows students to make appointments with tutors from any computer with Internet capabilities.

“I don’t know of any other unit that you can make appointments online,” Paul Ellis, director of the Learning Assistance Program, said.

“It allows us additional convenience and maintenance of records.”

Scheduled appointments can be made for 30 minute intervals with an hour maximum. This applies to both the writing center and the math center.

Academic tutoring sessions usually last about one hour, depending on the arrangements made between student and tutor.

It is strongly recommended that an appointment is made in both the writing center and math center.

Math tutors specialize in particular courses; therefore, drop-in students may not be able to receive help.

Writing consultants may serve drop-ins if no other appointments have been made.

Last fall semester, TutorTrac calculated 959 different students visited some form of the LAP program.

Broken down even further, 136 students had academic tutors, 300 students visited the math center, and 523 students visited the writing center.

The total hours students were being tutored was 2,626 hours. The numbers are expected to be higher this year.

A concern students may have about the LAP program is how qualified are the tutors who work inside the program?

The writing center is certified by the College Reading and Learning Association. The writing consultants are trained and hand-selected by Paul Ellis.

The academic tutors have received an “A” in all the classes they are allowed to tutor.

The math center is applying for certification this year. All students working in any of these centers have a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Currently, there are 78 academic tutors, 18 writing consultants, and 21 math consultants.

As with any program, the LAP program has positives and negatives.

Right now there are too few academic tutors. There are some classes that students need tutors for, but the LAP cannot accommodate these students. There are also some space issues, because the writing center shares space with academic tutors and faculty members.

The math center is located in a small classroom, creating some severe space problems.

The LAP has been around in some form since 1978. The program allows students to learn in an alternative way.

“The center applies a different style of learning, collaborative rather than solo,” Ellis said. “The design is to increase quality and quantity of learning at NKU with an individualized approach.

“It is a comfortable place to be and work. There is artwork, plants, and the room is well designed, with cubicles and computers for privacy,” Ellis said.

If you’re interested in making an appointment, or is you would like to learn more about the LAP, you can stop by BEP 230 and talk to either Paul Ellis, Michele Halley or a writing consultant.

The office hours of the writing center are Monday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are also open on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The math center is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The math center also has Saturday hours for the convenience of students, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While in the office, pick up a free piece of flare or buttons to wear around campus – a spinoff of the movie “Office Space” to help promote this program.

Also available in BEP 230 are informational brochures regarding the tutoring services.