Campus math tutoring center underutilized by students

Students must pass math courses in order to graduate from college. Unbeknownst to many students, Cosumnes River College offers a math tutoring service for students regardless of major or educational goal.

Drop-in tutoring is offered in the Math Center in room 205 and is located in the Learning Resource Center on campus.  Tutoring is available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.

What makes this tutoring service so helpful is that it is run and mostly supervised by students, so all of the tutors are students’ peers.  Each tutor teaches up to their comfortable level of math and is also trained by other math instructors on campus, said Phuong Le, a math professor at CRC.

“I always encourage students of any level to make a habit of studying in the math center,” Le said.  “I always recommend students come regularly.”

Students who regularly attend the math lab show improvements over the semester on their quizzes, homework and exams, but a problem occurs when students neglect the service all semester long and only attend tutoring days before an exam, Le said.

“There are especially a lot of students around midterms and finals,” said Hung Vu, a 23-year-old computer science major and math center tutor. “It is better to get an early start and not wait until an exam or test to get help.”

Students of one of CRC’s Math 100 classes said work and other priorities take up a lot of valuable time.  Many said they do not have the time during the day to attend the set tutoring hours but they would like to attend more regularly if the service proved to be helpful.

“Sometimes, younger students work more, so their schedules won’t allow them to attend,”  Le said.

On average, most students attending the math center’s tutoring hours are over 30 years old, said Vien Bui, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering major and tutor.

“I would say about seven out of every 10 students I help are older than 30,”  Bui said.  “The lab is open for everyone. Sometimes younger people understand or can figure it out for themselves, the older people need more help understanding.”

For now, the tutoring service is being used by enough students on campus to keep it around.