Academic coaching, no appointment needed

By Nathan DiCamillo, Sports Editor

Taylor Chitwood wants to be a school counselor. Holly Billiter wants to be a professor at a university and eventually lead a research team. Both want to reach their own goals and help others reach theirs at the Academic Coaching Center in lower Ludwig.

Senior Chitwood and Junior Billiter went through 10 hours of tutor training after being chosen by their professors to be coaches at the center. Chitwood helps students with sociology and Billiter helps with psychology. After logging 25 hours of coaching, both coaches will receive the resume-building achievement of being national certified tutors.

Before, students had to be getting C- or worse in a class to get help from tutors at the Center for Student Success. The new coaching center has no grade requirements. Students may drop in anytime that the center is open or may make an appointment with their favorite coaches.

“We were hearing from students that were saying, ‘I’m getting a C but I need a B to keep my scholarship’ or ‘I want to get better,’” Arlene Hoffman, the director of the coaching center, said.

Coaches are available to tutor sociology, psychology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry and biology. Subjects offered by the center are determined by academic faculty.

“We’re adding Western Civ, which we don’t see a lot of those students coming in to our office at the Academic Center for Student Success, yet the professor deemed it necessary that there be accessibility to extra help,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman, who used to be the academic liaison for the Center for Student Success, receives coaches from professors who recommend them.

“For next semester in the fall, once this goes out and students get interested, I would imagine students would go to their professors and ask for recommendations,” Hoffman said.

The center employs 24 student coaches and is in the process of hiring two more.

Laura Contreras will be serving as the nighttime supervisor for the coaching center. Contreras has been a math teacher for eight years and has gotten a masters in curriculum instruction from Olivet and a masters in Library Information Science from University of Illinois.

“I’m looking forward to just seeing the progress a student makes: to see how much better they will be at the end, the point difference on their test, or just the look on their face when they finally get it,” Chitwood said.

Billitr agreed: the “’aha’ moment” of teaching is what makes it worth it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *