Home Academic writing The school support center reopens – Experience

The school support center reopens – Experience

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After a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, the center is able to provide assistance in person.

College is a life-changing experience, and while educational success ultimately brings its rewards, the road can sometimes be difficult. University services such as tutoring and homework help can make the learning process easier, and the Center for Academic Support at Los Medanos College is here to help.

The center is designed to help students with their studies and provide tips and tricks on how to become better learners, offering both tutoring and writing consultations. It is headed by coordinator Sandra Mills, assisted by Richard Stanfield.

Mills, who has been at LMC for over 21 years as a staff member, is a former student and also worked in programs and services for students with disabilities before starting at the center. She said the idea for a reading and writing center came from the English department in the 1990s and came about with the help of Mills and a handful of professors and university staff around 1999.

Stanfield, who started working at LMC in 2015, started out as a student tutor and then started working alongside. He said that with the help of tutors and other staff at the center, students can strengthen their learning habits.

Mills explained that tutors aren’t there to just explain solutions to students, but to provide the skills to come up with the answers independently.

“We are waiting [tutors] to facilitate learning. We expect them to help students learn, not give answers, ”Mills said.

This practice of developing independent learning skills is vital for life after CML, especially since students will not have the support of the center when they leave.

“The idea is for the student to do this independently because when they transfer they won’t have access to us and when you go out into the real world these are skills that you can take with you, but you can’t take the guardian with you, ”Stanfield said.

Becoming a tutor at the Center for Academic Support is simple, but takes dedication. First of all, you must be referred to the center by a faculty member. A teacher may either approach a student with the reference or the student may ask their teacher if they would be a good fit. Once the recommendation has been sent, the center will discuss with the student and train him to become a tutor.

Before COVID-19, the center was filled with students, tutors and staff helping each other. It was a safe space where people gathered to gain knowledge and create a sense of community. Now, during the pandemic restrictions, that sense of oneness seems absent at the center. Many students who receive tutoring are helped through Zoom and only a handful come for face-to-face tutoring.

“We used to study slam, we would order pizza and food and we missed those things because it created a sense of community,” Stanfield said. “There is something tangible about breaking bread with someone, it breaks the ice.”

Mills said it is difficult to predict what support for the center will look like in the future due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. With tutoring being either entirely online, face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two, Mills is unsure whether they are helping students reach their full potential.

“We don’t know where the students are right now, we don’t have that connection like we used to. The thing online that I feel like I’m really pulling away, ”she said.

Despite the restrictions related to the pandemic, the center still offers face-to-face tutoring services and brings students back and forth, but not at the rate it previously did.

The Academic Support Center is located on Level 3 in the main building of the Pittsburg University Complex. It is open face-to-face on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is open remotely on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please visit the school support center page.


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