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The Antelope

Not too late for help


Tutors encourage students to visit Learning Commons
By Shelby Larsen

Are you struggling with some work in a specific subject? Have no fear—subject tutors in the Learning Commons are here to assist you with coursework for numerous areas of study, and they have many methods for doing so.

According to Keri Pearson, assistant director of the Learning Commons, “The goal of any of our services is to help students feel confident academically.”

If students are struggling, it is not because they are a failure. It means they are learning.

Pearson’s goal for students is for them to be independent. UNK has many resources for students and knowing about and accessing those services is part of being independent.

Subject tutoring has tutors for math and science courses, business courses, language courses and many others. When there is a need for new tutor subjects, the Learning Commons does their best to meet those needs.

Pearson encourages people to ask if they need help in a subject that currently doesn’t have a tutor in the Learning Commons. Pearson or Patrick Hargon, associate director of the Learning Commons, will help find a solution, whether that is a professor, upper level student or a tutor willing to help with a specific subject.

Pearson suggests that students who are self-aware of their study habits should apply for subject tutoring. While it is a great experience for future teachers, it’s also great for pre-professional programs. Continuously working with the material and being challenged on it regularly will help prepare for future comprehensive exams.

Krayton Conell, a senior business administration major with an accounting emphasis from Utica, is in her fifth semester at the Learning Commons.

Tutoring for business and accounting classes has allowed Conell to look at accounting material from another perspective, which will benefit her once she starts at a public accounting firm in Omaha this coming fall.

“As a tutor, I feel like I’ve gained a greater understanding of the material than just what I learned in the classroom because I’m helping students work through the concepts.”

Conell applied to become a subject tutor because she wanted to help students succeed academically. “With tutoring, my hope is to help students see that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”

The two biggest goals Conell has for students are understanding the concepts they are working on and hopefully having as much fun as possible while doing it. Watching students understand their material is Conell’s favorite part of the job.

If students are reluctant or afraid to come in for help, Conell encourages them to come in with a group of people and to remember that there might already be people from their classes coming in for tutoring, asking the same questions.

“One thing I want every student to know about subject tutoring is that coming to ask for help isn’t a failure but a sign that you want to learn and are willing to take steps to do that.”

Katie Arndt, sophomore pre-med biology student from Grand Island, started in the Learning Commons last fall after a professor recommended she tutor general chemistry.

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized my struggles in the class could help me relate to students who had the same problems I did,” said Arndt.

Working as a subject tutor has also allowed Arndt to rehearse and retain information for her own classes. “Learning how to help students understand also gives you strategies to use in your own classes. I’ve been taught problem-solving strategies I’ll continue to use throughout my academic career.”

Arndt’s main goal for students is for them to become independent. “If students can finish their homework and complete exams with the strategies we taught them, that means we’ve succeeded.”

For students that are unsure about seeking out help, Arndt says that she, along with other tutors, has gone in for tutoring herself. Knowing it isn’t easy to ask for help, they strive for a relaxed atmosphere.

“We want to help however we can. Some tutors can have one-on-one appointments with students, and there’re also study groups for many subjects. If you don’t think traditional tutoring works for you, there’s probably some way we can still help.”


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