Students receiving tutoring at Marquette may see some changes as the tutoring center receives a possible new location within the next two years. Faculty and tutors involved in the Marquette Tutoring Program feel there is a huge lack of space, which can affect their ability to aid students.
According to Dawn Barrett, associate director of Student Educational Services in the tutoring program, there are “approximately 60 [classes tutored] throughout each semester, mostly freshmen and sophomore-level courses, Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Physics, many others, etc.”
In past years, these classes were solely taught in the tutoring center, located on the third floor of the Alumni Memorial Union (AMU). This year, additional overflow space is on the fourth floor of the AMU. However, this is not enough.
“[A new location] is absolutely necessary, especially with there being at most 20 if not more groups of four to six people each,” said Marlena Eanes, a junior in the College of Education and former tutor. “The rooms get quite crowded quickly.”
Oftentimes, the crowded rooms are more than simply an annoyance for tutors but they are a distraction.
“The big problem with the space issue is when you have other groups, it’s hard to tutor because there are so many distractions,” said Angie Macias, a Spanish tutor and senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“When I did tutor training they told me I was really soft spoken,” Macias continued. “If you’re like me and you’re really soft spoken, it’s hard for people to hear you. Everyone else talks louder so they can be heard.”
Former Spanish tutor Chris Powell, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, agreed that crowded rooms are a distraction.
“I think that as a tutor you want to be able to make the most of the limited time, about an hour per week,” said Powell. “There’s a lot to cover, and the better you can efficiently communicate with the students the more effective the session will be.”
Powell concluded: “I think that crowded, noisy rooms are a poor environment in which to facilitate this type of positive interaction.”
Problems not only arise for the tutors but also for those tutored.
“I know from being a tutee that it is hard to concentrate on the material when there are so many other people around,” said Eanes.
Macias also reflected on her experience as a tutor. “Usually the class being tutored next to you is also something you are in,” Macias said. “So you are trying to listen to both.”
The obvious solution would be a new location, but this has proven difficult. According to Marquette’s provost, John Pauly, plans started even before he received the title of provost in 2008.
“There is a demand for space in the Union,” Pauly said. “From my perspective we never found an alternative space that was adequate.”
The two most likely places for the tutoring center to be relocated are Marquette Hall and Sensenbrenner Hall, with the former being more likely. In order for this to happen, Pauly said the building needs some improvements.
“The hope was that next summer we could start and be in place by the next fall,” Pauly said. “We are looking at budgets.”
Although there are currently many obstacles, Pauly recognized the importance of the new building for students.
“Students need to get off to the right start,” he said. “What happens in the first six to eight weeks with freshmen helps determine their future. When students have issues, this is the place to go.”
Announcements for the new tutoring center will be made when plans are finalized.
by Sara Torres
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