Learning Center prepares students for finals

By on December 5, 2012
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Finals week is just around the corner and amid all of the cramming sessions and late nights in the library, Quinnipiac University offers the Learning Center for help.

Katie O'Brien

The Learning Center, a free service that Quinnipiac provides to its students, hires student tutors to help their fellow classmates in the subject field that they chose at appointment sessions.  For those who have not been to the Learning Center yet, finals week may be a good time to take a trip down and reap the benefits.

The Learning Center includes nationally-certified peer tutoring, peer study groups and weekly study tables for more demanded courses.  More than 4,200 students used the Learning Center during the 2011 – 2012 academic year, according to Andrew Delohery, the associate vice president for retention and academic success.

Students at Quinnipiac can trust that they are in good hands with their tutors. To be a tutor in the Learning Center, one must have earned an A or an A-  in the class that they wish to tutor in.

“The tutors are trained to help students think about the way they are learning, as well as address the content they have come to discuss,” Delohery said. “Students get much more out of the process if they come prepared to chat about specific things.”

Freshman Lindsey Banks has gone to the Learning Center for her anthropology class.

“The Learning Center helped me,” Banks said.  “Anthropology is a lot of information. My tutor helped me learn how to organize all the information to make it easier to study.”

Fellow freshman, Christian Keene, had a very similar experience at the Learning Center when he went for help with his chemistry class.

“It made me look at things that I would not have originally looked at,” he said.

Senior Carla Breccia started tutoring during the first semester of her sophomore year, generally as tutoring students taking chemistry, such as Keene.

“I chose to become a tutor because I have always loved helping others when it comes to school work,” Breccia said. “School is something that I have always had a fairly easy time with and I know that it cause a lot of struggles to other people, so I wanted to be able to use my knowledge to help eliminate the struggle of the students who I would get to tutor.”

Senior Mark Firmani has been tutoring in the Learning Center since the first semester of his junior year.
Besides tutoring, Firmani loves helping students with their writing prompts.

“While I enjoy tutoring Spanish, I love my writing tutorials the most,” he said. “With every new student comes a new prompt and set of readings, which present a challenge to me as I have to think of questions to help the tutees follow a fruitful direction. Every new tutorial is a challenge, ensuring that I rarely get bored.”

With finals week coming up, Breccia and  Firmani offer their tips for preparing how to handle studying for all one’s finals. Firmani advises students to come into the Learning Center prepared with writing samples.

“It doesn’t have to be good, but they should try to get something on paper,” Firmani said. “Tutorials tend to be more productive if there’s a piece of writing we can work with. During the semester it can be helpful to come in to begin the brainstorming process; however, by finals week it’s usually too late for that.”

As for Breccia, she believes that lifestyle tips can help benefit one during finals week.  Breccia  believes that staying relaxed, prioritizing your work and keeping up with your work is a great way to prepare. She recommends taking short, frequent study breaks and emphasizes getting a good amount of sleep and eating healthy.

To schedule a tutoring session, one can make an appointment by going to Tator Hall room 119 and signing up. Students can be tutored for one hour per week per class. However, Firmani warned of the craziness that may occur during this week.

“In terms of the Learning Center itself, if everything is booked already, I’d recommend students check back whenever they can,” Firmani said. “Don’t worry about being annoying; there is always the chance that some student will cancel their last-minute session, leaving open a precious slot.”

All in all, Quinnipiac’s Learning Center is meant to do more than just help you get an A on your next test.

“The services at the Learning Center are all developed with the end goal of having students not need us,” Delohery said. “We work with students to help them develop into self-sufficient life-long learners.”

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