NW peer-to-peer tutoring program gains popularity

By Tabitha Redder/nw news editor

Haylie Jones/The Collegian  NW student Michael Batts currently serves as a peer tutor and has been since last spring. Batts says he has noticed an increase in the students who come to him for tutoring.

Haylie Jones/The Collegian NW student Michael Batts currently serves as a peer tutor and has been since last spring. Batts says he has noticed an increase in the students who come to him for tutoring.

NW students who find it too intimidating to ask an adult for help with their homework now have another option.

Peer tutors are students skilled in a certain subject and hired to aid others with their schoolwork.

The Peer-to-Peer Tutoring program has been on campus for a couple of years, but it is just picking up speed on NW, English instructor and program coordinator Maggie Row said.

NW student Michael Batts has been peer tutoring since last spring and has noticed a significant increase in the students who seek his help with their studies.

“Last semester, I helped two or three students,” he said. “This semester, I’ve helped two or three every day.”

Although the program is steadily growing in popularity, the program is still making an effort to raise awareness.

“Many people don’t know about the program, so we’ve started to tell new students at orientations,” Batts said.

Instructional aide Shelby Garrison took advantage of the peer tutoring service before she became a peer tutor herself.

“Sometimes, students feel afraid or nervous to speak to their teachers,” she said. “I think it’s more comforting to know you’re with your peers.”

Row wants students to know that the tutors who help them are more than just the average student.

The NW Peer-to-Peer Tutoring program is part of the College Reading and Learning Association as well as an international tutor training program. TCC is certified with the program districtwide. Row hosts training sessions to maintain certification requirements.

“We talk about the best tutoring practices, different learning styles and how to help students with study skills in addition to the content area they tutor in,” she said of the training.

Peer tutors are located in the tutoring labs along with professional tutors. Students just need to specify that they’d prefer peer assistance instead.

Although they are hired for specific areas of study, the tutors can help with more than just their assigned subjects. Batts is a reading comprehension and writing tutor, but he has aided others in biology, calculus and history as well.

Because the program is still in its beginning stages of development, peer tutors aren’t available in every subject just yet. Math, reading and writing peer tutors are currently offered while economics, history, government, speech and even art are areas the program hopes to hire tutors for in the future.