By AMANDA HEWSON
College is a big adjustment for every student, especially those coming from high school achieving an academic 80 per cent average in every class.
Fear not, for those who are struggling, or those who continue to excel – Niagara College’s peer tutoring program is the perfect way to meet other students and get a grip on college.
“From September 2014-April 2015, there were 111 learners and 559 tutors enrolled in the Peer Tutoring program,” explained Katherine Gottli, peer tutor facilitator at the Welland campus.
Becoming a peer tutor has many benefits, whether it’s to earn a little extra spending money, or to help get some extra study time in by reviewing the material more often. Peer tutors are paid between $11.50 to $13.50 per hour, with a maximum of 12 hours per week.
“Peer tutors through this program develop leadership and communication skills, as well as add hours to their Niagara College Co-Curricular Record. By developing these interpersonal skills, tutors will have experiences to draw from in job interviews, when applying for scholarships,” explained Natasha Davis, peer tutor facilitator at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.The requirements for becoming a peer tutor are simple.
You must have a minimum of 80 per cent grade average in the course you are intending to peer tutor, and must be passing 75 per cent of your program course load. Some previous experience in peer tutoring is an asset, but is not necessary, and a professor’s recommendation about your hard work in their course doesn’t hurt either!
“Peer tutors are students who have already completed the classes with high marks, so they have an understanding of the knowledge and expected learning outcomes for the course,” said Gottli.
For those students finding the transition to college a little bit more difficult, finding a particular section in their course confusing, or who have failed or are at risk of failing an assignment, peer tutors are there to help. It may be beneficial for students to seek a peer tutor if they are not meeting grade requirements of 50 per cent per course, or an overall 60 per cent grade point average.
Davis explained that “the peer tutoring program is designed to help students who are in need of extra clarification for the material presented in class.”
At the end of the peer tutoring program, the facilitators review the program with learners and tutors, in order to gain feedback on ways to better the program.“A previous tutor once said to us, ‘This program is a really good way to improve your understanding and broaden your knowledge in many areas of your field. I appreciate what NC did and the students I was matched with,’” explained Davis.
Learners also provide feedback to let facilitators know what they found helpful, what areas could use work and how they felt about their tutor match.
“A learner left a comment for us stating, ‘Peer tutoring at NC is indeed a great way for other students to learn outside the classroom, as knowledge is continually passed on from students. It has helped me gain more knowledge from fellow students’ perspectives. This is indeed a plus for me. The program has been and is a success!’” said Davis.
To apply for a peer tutor, visit www.getinvolved.niagaracollege.ca (or look on your Co-Curricular Record) and fill out a form. The process usually takes approximately one week to find a perfect match.
To avoid feeling stressed, and to make the most of peer tutoring sessions, it is beneficial to attend classes regularly, complete all assignments, and be open with the peer tutor.
For more information on becoming or seeking out a peer tutor, contact the Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership.