HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Tutorial Lab on the 8th floor of the James C. Bailey Center has been updated recently to provide students with more options for taking advantage of tutoring services or spaces and equipment they can use to study on their own or in groups.
Lisa Smith, Director of the Student Resource Center at Wallace State Community College said the changes have been noticed by students, with a 53% increase in use by students in the month of March.
The Tutorial Lab at Wallace State is free and open to all WSCC students and is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and by appointment on Friday. There are eight peer tutors who can assist students in any number of subjects, including math, English, science, business and computer science. There is one tutor coordinator, with at least two more to be hired.
“Our busiest subject is going to be math,” Smith said. “Just because we have so many students who either come back or need to refresh their math skills, or it’s been a while since they’ve been in school so they have to go back and get a little extra help with their algebra or calculus or whatever they need to take.”
No appointment is necessary to use the Tutorial Lab Monday through Thursday. Students who come in swipe their student ID and answer a few questions about what subjects they’re studying and what class it’s for, or if they’re visiting for study time. If needed, a tutor will then be assigned to the student.
“We usually encourage students to come before they actually get so far behind that they can’t get caught up,” Smith said. “But a lot of students will come in, say after that first test, and say ‘I didn’t do as well as I thought I would,’ and someone will sit down and work with them.”
Midterms and finals are other busy times for the Tutorial Lab. “Near the end of the semester, when a lot of term papers or major projects are due, we’ll do a lot of proof reading then, a lot of English and grammar skills.”
The time a student spends in the Tutorial Lab is up to them, Smith said. “They can come in for five minutes or five hours,” she said. “Someone can work with them for a little while and let then work independently, and then the tutor will go back and check on them.”
Also available to students and classes at the college is the computer courtyard, a room with about 25 computers. Students can come in and use it independently or instructors can book the room to use in their lessons.
“One thing that is unique is the community learning computer stations. One large screen is connected to four keyboards and allows for demonstration and multiple input,” Smith said. “Our computer science tutors will sit there and demonstrate what students need to do and then the students can walk over to a table and do it. But you can demonstrate it to four students at a time.”
The computer courtyard is open any time the tutoring lab is open and can be used to type up papers, work on projects or assignments. The lab works with college programs to make sure they have what students need for what they are working on in their classes.
“Anything that’s in the computer science labs they can come over here and get help on the same material or software program,” Smith said. “We also have the same thing for business stats.”
The lab also includes a couple of study rooms that can be used by small groups of students preparing for upcoming exams.
Smith said some students come to the Tutorial Lab simply to study. “They’ll be on their computers doing online work, reading, or anything like that,” she said, adding they’ve tried to create a space that is welcoming and comfortable to be in.
Daniel Young is one of the peer tutors in the Tutorial Lab, specializing in biology and chemistry, but able to assist in math as well.
“It definitely makes me feel good to see that I have helped to impact their lives,” said Young, who is graduating with a bachelor degree in biology this spring and worked in the lab for four years.
For more information about the Student Resource Center, contact Lisa Smith at 256.352.8052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.