Freshman turn to student tutor for help with biology, chemistry


Noah Shackelford tutors Brittany Schlaeger for biology class. Photo by Jada High / Antelope Staff


Chemistry can be a challenging subject for many students, but having a knowledgeable and supportive tutor can make all the difference. Many students have found these qualities in Noah Shackleford, who tutors many freshman in general chemistry and biology courses. 

Shackelford is second year sophomore from Clay Center. He has been hard at work pursuing a degree in molecular biology for pre-medicine. 

In the spring semester of 2022, he was introduced to this position at the Learning Commons by his general chemistry professor who recommended he apply. Shackelford applied shortly after and began tutoring in the fall of 2022. 

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about Noah from the students who come to the Learning Commons to work with him,” says Emily Bahr, his subject tutoring advisor. “Students have the option to leave us comments after each visit, and some of the comments we’ve gotten about Noah are that he is one of the best tutors, working with him is a great experience, he does a great job answering questions and he is very helpful and patient.”

Chemistry is a complex subject that requires a thorough understanding of its fundamental concepts and principles. A tutor with a strong background and experience in chemistry is essential to help students succeed in this subject. Shackelford has a deep understanding of the subject matter and is able to communicate it effectively to the students. 

“I am super passionate about biology and chemistry.” Shackelford said. “I try to be as helpful and as approachable as I can while also being hands-off so they can translate the material on their own when an exam rolls around.”

Everyone learns differently and Shackelford’s tutorees have been impressed with his adaptability in teaching strategies.

“Noah is very patient, has outstanding communication skills, is eager to teach either subject and can adapt to each of his fellow student’s learning styles,” said freshman Jesse Bertrand. “I think he is one of the best tutors here, and I don’t think I would have ended up with an A in chemistry if Noah had not been there to help answer my questions.”

Chemistry and biology tutoring in the Learning Commons is on a drop-in basis, so it’s hard to predict how many students may be there at any given time. Shackelford almost always has a group of students with him, and students have recognized how helpful he is and intentionally come back to work with him. 

According to Shackelford, he has had a wonderful experience during his time as a tutor so far.

“I like all my students,” Shackelford said. “They are always really motivated to learn and improve in their classes. My coworkers are all really cool and I think it’s pretty clear that I love the subject matter.” 

On campus, Shackelford is involved with Student Government, Chemistry Club, KHOP, the Honors Program and undergraduate research. Following his undergrad in pre-medicine, Shackelford plans to go to medical school in hopes of becoming a physician.  

The staff at the Learning Commons appreciate his dedication.

“Noah is a great tutor, and I admire how hard he works to help other students understand chemistry,” Bahr said. “All of us in the Learning Commons feel grateful to have him on our tutoring staff.”