College presents a variety of challenges. When grasping the content of their classes becomes the biggest challenge, there is a place students can turn for help: the Study, Tutoring and Reading Room, known as S.T.a.R.R.
“The LPC Tutorial Program is dedicated to students’ educational success by providing quality learning support relevant to their individual needs,” their mission statement reads.
“We seek to provide services that will help students become independent learners and function successfully in an academic environment. We strive to create a positive and encouraging atmosphere for all students who use our services.”
Located in the 2400 building, the Tutorial Center offers a variety of tutoring and study resources to Las Positas College students. Students can receive one hour of scheduled tutoring per week in two classes and may come in for as many drop-in hours as they wish.
The center also offers embedded tutoring, which places tutors directly in math and music classes to provide “on-the-spot” assistance to tutored students. Students can also form study groups and reserve a room for group work and study.
In addition, S.T.a.R.R. houses the Reading And Writing (R.A.W.) Center for focused help on reading and writing. All of these services are free to LPC students.
To receive scheduled tutoring, students can fill out a request form at the Tutorial Center or online. The tutorial staff will review the student’s schedule and contact them to set up a time to come in.
Students wanting drop-in tutoring need only to check the times available on the Tutorial Center page on the LPC website and come in at the time most convenient for them.
Students can also receive help with writing or math assignments online through the Tutorial Center website.
In April of 2012, the Tutorial Center was presented with the “What’s Right at LPC” award for providing exceptional assistance and support to LPC students. The award is given out monthly to recognize the contributions of LPC staff and faculty to the student body and surrounding community.
The Tutorial Program is overseen by Pauline Trummel, who was hired 17 years ago to teach tutor training courses.
“For many years, I ran a private tutoring business in addition to teaching in the classroom,” Trummel said in an email interview. “I have always believed in the concept of tutoring and loved the success I saw in students who received it.
“When I heard that LPC was looking for someone to teach peer tutors and lead this program, I thought it would be a perfect job.”
Trummel explained that the Tutorial Center offers the “Six Success Factors that Support Student Achievement.” These guidelines help the tutors keep students feeling focused, nurtured, engaged, connected, valued and directed.
Trummel said helping students succeed is the main goal of the Tutorial Center, and the most rewarding part of working in S.T.a.R.R.
“I see so many students each day,” Trummel said. “It is a privilege to be involved in their lives and it is a joy to see them succeed.
“Frequently, when I meet students they are stressed in a class but after some time of tutoring, they stop by my office to tell me how thankful they are for their tutors and how much they’ve learned and grown in that same class.”
Many of the tutors are LPC students themselves.
These “peer tutors” are trained by Trummel, and frequently started out as students seeking tutoring of their own in classes they were struggling with.
These students returning to tutor others are driving the continued growth of the tutoring program.
The Tutorial Center has seen more requests this term than ever before, far outstripping the demand on their services in previous terms.
“This semester I have 37 students in my Tutor Training class and I coordinate a total of 62 peer tutors,” Trummel said. “We have already had 390 requests for scheduled peer tutors (last year we had a total of 408 requests at the end of the semester).
“I am hoping to get a tutor scheduling program that will allow us to get students/tutors scheduled immediately.”
Along with structured tutoring assistance, the Tutorial Center is open to students to come study, read, or just relax in a quiet, friendly environment.
The center is replete with tables and comfortable chairs, and catches the afternoon sun to provide both good light for studying and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
The Tutorial Center is open to all students Mondays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Above all, Trummel wants students to know that the tutoring staff understands the problems they may be having with classes and are ready to assist.
“I want them to know that we, in the Tutorial Center, are here for them,” Trummel said. “There is no reason to be struggling alone. We know what it takes for many students just to walk through our doors and ask for assistance, but we try to make it easy.
“Those of us that work in the tutorial center—whether the Coordinator, the Instructional Assistant, the student assistants at the desk, or the tutors— are here to help you!”