Elevating grades through tutoring is being greatly overlooked by students

Lack of academic preparedness is one of the top five reasons students drop out of college.

Opinion by Annette M. Lesure, Staff Writer

Students utilize computers at the Academic Resource Center on the first day of the fall semester. The center offers free tutoring and academic support. (Photo by Stephen Castandea/The Valley Star)

Despite numerous tutoring opportunities available at Valley College, students are not taking advantage or are unaware of the resources offered to them which could help with academic success.

Five out of 10 students interviewed said they had heard about tutoring services on campus, and only one of them reported trying it. The other half — all first-year students — were not familiar with the tutoring services at all, with the single student finding the it on their own.

All of the students said they would consider tutoring if they were in need of help. Perhaps the reason students are not seeking support is due to a lack of outreach and awareness. Or maybe students are not taking initiative toward the first steps in implementing tutoring because of a lack of confidence.

“It was tough. I didn’t do that well the first semester,” said second-year nursing student Lesly Cermeno. “Near the end, I met with counselors again, because I wasn’t sure how to reach them or how often I needed to talk to them.”

Cermeno was not told about counseling until after her first semester and said she is more likely to find a tutor in the future.

According to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Bureau of Economic Research, “high-dosage” tutoring — when tutors and tutees meet at least three times per week — is exceedingly beneficial toward the success of students from all cultural and financial heterogeneity. Valley tutoring services offer as much assistance as a student needs with flexible timeframes for their schedules.

Studies from the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations proved that tutoring provides students with a review of course material as well as discussion on their comprehension of the subject, resulting in knowledge retention and higher grades. The data further supports the fact that tutoring increases test-taking and academic success.

In an era of pandemic-related relief such as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III, colleges and students are receiving more assistance than ever before toward academic support. This being provided to manage academic needs and expenses exacerbated during the pandemic. However, these needs and benefits existed prior to the pandemic.

While taking things for granted is human nature, Monarchs are forgetting that it is a privilege to have these college services. Students should remember 15-year-old student Malala when putting their education second. In 2012, she was shot in the head by the Taliban on her school bus headed home, after speaking publicly about “a girl’s right to learn.” Malala woke up from a coma ten days later with her family in Birmingham, England. This earned her international support as it was a profound world statement showing the depth of value that lies behind education.

Ranking first in the world for its education system, the United States offers eager learners the opportunity to achieve tertiary education. Students must take advantage of all the opportunities Valley predecessors fought to provide to safeguard the success of learning.

With more than five free tutoring sources available in most subjects, ranging from ARC, SSD, EOPS, TRIO and NetTutor, Valley students are encouraged to habitually seek help for academic struggles.

“I survived math without tutoring,” said Valley student Zeke Perry. “Looking back, I think I made it too hard on myself, going without the tutoring. Maybe I would’ve ended up with a better grade if I had gotten some help with it.”

The third-year student sought assistance with general counseling when he first arrived at Valley.

“I think when it comes to school a lot of people think, ‘I got this, I can do it by myself,’” said Perry. “But if you find yourself caught in a corner even with one assignment that could make or break you, [counseling] is there. Take advantage of it and see what better things it can lead you to.”

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