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Georgia Gwinnett College-2016--Tutoring

Year: 
2016
Campus Strategy: 
Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact: 

Recognizing that, for some students, the structure and format of their class section may not be sufficient for mastery of the course material, GGC has invested deeply in tutorial services. Extracurricular tutoring provides a safety net for students who are academically underprepared, who struggle with self-organization and management, or who find their instructor’s pedagogical approach incompatible with their own learning style. Tutoring support also benefits students who actively wish to develop their skills in a particular area through supplemental learning experiences.

Summary of Activities: 

GGC’s investment in tutoring services has been a feature of the college since its opening. As of the most recent academic year, tutoring services are offered in a central campus location, in classrooms, online, and at a variety of other campus venues, including the campus Residence Halls. The on-campus tutoring center is open 63 hours per week and offers support for all classes and disciplines, with limited exceptions, which are typically covered in online or specialized tutoring sessions. The tutoring center, known as the Academic Enhancement Center (AEC), employs two coordinators (one for Writing, one for Math/Science), 33 professional tutors, 12 student/peer tutors, and 10 student assistants. In addition, more than 60 faculty volunteers and a small number of community volunteers have donated time to the center each academic year. In the 2015-16 academic year, the AEC saw 3489 students.

GGC offers tutoring outside of the AEC through its TIC-TAC-TOE programs. The TIC program provides Tutors In the Classroom for selected courses. During the 2015 – 2016 academic year, TICs were assigned to 4 sections of EAP (English for Academic Purposes) EAP 0080, EAP 0081, EAP 0090); 19 sections of English courses (ENGL 0989,ENGL 0099/ENGL 1101, ENGL 1101, ENGL 1102), 16 sections of MATH courses (MATH 0987, MATH 0989, MATH 0997/1001, MATH 0999/1111), and 12 sections of ITEC courses (ITEC 2140, ITEC 2150, ITEC 3150). The TAC program provides Tutors Around Campus, professional tutors who provide drop-in tutoring in a variety of well-populated locations on campus such as the library, the residence halls, and the student center. During AY15-16, 7 TAC tutors supported 65 unique students with a total of 142 visits. TAC offered tutoring in the Library, A – Building, and Residence Life. TOE offers Tutoring Online Every day through a relationship with Smarthinking (a Pearson service), which provides access any time of the day or night to online tutoring for GGC students. In the 2015-16 academic year, 522 unique students utilized 2390 tutoring sessions and/or submitted essays for review in multiple courses. 158 students used SmartThinking for assistance with more than one class. The AEC’s support of GGC’s students through the TIC-TAC-TOE programs has been recognized by a 2016 Chancellor’s Service Excellence Student Improvement Initiative Team Award—Silver level.

In addition, AEC staff offer student success workshops and maintain a strong outreach presence on campus. The workshops cover topics as diverse as exam preparation and time management techniques, to stress relief strategies and how to use learning style preferences to improve study methods. For AY15-16, 78 workshops were offered and 581 students attended. The AEC regularly participates in campus-wide events for prospective and current students such as Bear Essentials orientation showcases, Path to Success Day, Grizzly Days, Open Houses, and even the Sustainability Fair. The AEC maintains social media presence with a Facebook page and Twitter account. These efforts are worth mentioning because they are invitations to students where they are—physically or virtually—and reinforce the idea that GGC is committed to supporting the whole student, academically and otherwise. More students are likely to access the AEC’s varied offerings when they are encouraged to do so by multiple parties and in different ways across campus and online. To these ends, AEC staff additionally visit classrooms upon request to discuss AEC services and events.

Metrics and Measures: 

Interim Measures of Progress

Increased use of tutoring services in the Academic Enhancement Center (AEC) serves as a strong indicator of progress in the area of expansive and available tutorial support services. During the 2013-14 academic year, there were 15,357 tutoring sessions provided to 3,876 students in the AEC. During the 2014-15 academic year, there were 18,123 sessions provided to almost 3,600 students (unduplicated count) in the AEC. This represented an 18% increase in the total number of sessions from the 2013-14 academic year, and the trend of increased sessions continued in the 2015-16 academic year, with sessions delivered to an unduplicated count of almost 3,500 students in the AEC.

Measures of Success

Increased Grade Point Averages (GPA) is a valuable measure of success for the implementation of expansive and available tutorial support services at GGC. It is not possible to provide a baseline figure for this strategy as GGC has always invested heavily in making tutoring available and accessible to all students. Further, since students often access multiple forms of available tutoring support, it is not feasible to conduct a fine-grained comparison across the various options. Rather, assessment of this strategy rests in maintaining a positive impact of tutoring services as shown in Table 8 which compares the GPA of first-year students who utilize the services and the overall population.

Table 8: Retention Rates of First-time Freshmen by Academic Enhancement Center Use

 

Fall 2014

 

Fall 2015

 
 

Using AEC

All

Using AEC

All

 

777

864

643

723

1 yr Retained

582

646

507

572

1 yr %

74.9%

74.7%

78.8%

79.1%

2 yr Retained

368

414

 

 

2 yr %

47.4%

47.9%

 

 

Lessons Learned: 

The Academic Enhancement Center (AEC) will continue to encourage efforts toward expansive and available tutorial support services, using innovative methods and technology to provide an effective and engaging tutorial experience. The AEC exists to help students become more confident, efficient, and successful learners. AEC tutors (both professional and peer tutors) and volunteer faculty continue to work to establish friendly, welcoming interaction with students while challenging and equipping them to excel in their coursework and ultimately in their careers. Further outreach efforts to students will be made to encourage greater and broader use of the TOE offerings. Outreach to multiple disciplines and all year-levels of students will continue.

To accommodate student demands and better serve the GGC population, the AEC recently hired a new Coordinator for writing tutoring, as well as a Lead Tutor. These positions, in addition to the Math/Science tutoring Coordinator, provide middle-level leadership in the AEC, as well as professional development support for tutors. In Summer 2016, the AEC offices (2) moved to one central location. TAC support has been expanded across campus to include the residence halls, student center, library, and B-building atrium, all key traffic areas for students. By keeping the tutoring staff up to date and innovating in best practices for tutoring in their disciplines, as well as increasing outreach to students and providing them with a welcoming, professional learning environment, the AEC will continually expand its service excellence.

Strategy: 
Comprehensive and Pervasive Tutoring Support