Author Archives: Rachael Davis

Conquering Fear of the Unknown

“Would you like some help?”

“No!” responds the three- year old.

“I’ll figure it out” is that same phrase only translated into adult language. Both the child and the adult know help is available but opt to be frustrated rather than assisted.  When did accepting help become such a terrible thing?  Or why does asking for help feel so scary? Maybe it’s not scary, but more of a fear of the unknown, or maybe it’s a combination of the two.  Either way, I believe a little information, especially from someone like a tutor, makes a big difference on the path of academic success.

Did you know students who seek out tutoring assistance early in the term have overall higher GPAs than those who don’t?  Did you know Bellevue University has a Tutor and Study Skills Program?  Did you know peer tutoring is available to Bellevue University students free of charge?  Peer tutors are able to assist in a variety of subject areas, including Accounting, Algebra, Business, CIT/CIS, Science, Statistics and Study Skills, and tutoring is available in a variety of formats

To make the most of your time with a tutor, prepare by attending class, taking notes during class lecture, reading the assigned material, attempting to do homework problems, and bringing relevant material.  During a tutoring session expect to be an active participant, to take notes to refer to later, and to ask questions.  Also be prepared to explain how to do a problem or an assignment.

Tutor Center + Initiating Communication = Proactive Students

When someone doesn’t do something, it is usually due to one of three reasons:  they don’t want to, they don’t know how to, or they don’t know they should be doing it.  Each term, tutors hear students say something similar to “I thought I understood the material, but my midterm is in a few days and I don’t even know how to start the practice problems.”  The Tutor and Study Skills Program’s new program, “Don’t Delay Start Understanding Today,” was designed to engage and to initiate contact with students who might not know how to actively seek out tutor assistance or are unaware assistance is available and or free.

Within the first two weeks of class, a member from the Tutor Center presents to a classroom of students various examples of times when other students thought they understood the weekly material but then realized they didn’t understand it about two days before their midterm or final.  Those in attendance are encouraged to meet with a tutor on a weekly basis to confirm that they truly understand the material.   About a week after the presentation, students who have not met with a tutor are contacted to see if they would like to schedule a tutor session.  The additional contact is to emphasize validation of understanding from a tutor is more useful than just thinking they understand it.

Feedback regarding the new program has been positive.  We are looking forward to introducing “Don’t Delay Start Understanding Today” to more students in upcoming term.

Rachael Davis, post author