As midterms approach, students may feel overwhelmed with more homework, exams and essays. The stress of preparing for certain course demands during midterms can leave students feeling uneasy about studying habits or frazzled on where to start when completing assignments. SUNY Plattsburgh’s Claude J. Clark Learning Center offers writing and content tutoring, as well as academic personal trainers to help students succeed.
The Learning Center, located on the first floor of Feinberg Library, currently offers tutoring sessions, but only on Zoom. However, this allows international and fully remote students to take advantage of their services, as well as on-campus students. The open study hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 1 a.m. Tutoring hours are Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For students interested in writing tutoring, there are eight tutors available with a diverse range of student’s specialties that include art, English, nursing, history, social work and undeclared majors. Students can bring lab reports, English papers, biology articles and history essays to be reviewed, as well as business memos or speeches.
“It’s a really good skill to be a good writer, to know your own writing process and to really understand that once you leave the university, you’re still going to be doing a lot of writing,” Assistant Director and Writing Specialist Regan Levitte said. “Writing can also help you with your reading and critical thinking skills, things that we know professors preach to us all the time and that’s definitely reinforced by going to writing tutoring.”
Students can also take advantage of the Learning Center’s Academic Personal Trainers. APTs are trained as tutors, but they help students with creating study schedules, setting academic goals, building good study habits and test taking skills, as well as finding a balance between social and academic life. There are currently four APT tutors available for students to utilize through Zoom sessions.
“If midterms are approaching and the student is feeling out of balance or not quite sure what direction to go in or there’s just so much that they don’t know what to do first – that’s really common,” Academic Success Advisor Sarah Henley said. “Being able to lay everything out – that can be just overwhelming itself. But to be able to organize and figure out what should happen first, like, when should I spend my time doing this versus that? An APT can help someone.” “I think overall it could just help one stress level because it hopefully will make them feel more prepared.”
Tutors must check-off an extensive list of requirements before being able to help tutor for a certain course. This means tutors are well informed on a subject and have completed some tutor training. One senior math tutor, Justin Yeaple, has more than 400 hours of tutoring completed at SUNY Plattsburgh. He also found the tutor training courses were beneficial to connecting with students, especially those that do not speak English as their first language.
“One the biggest things [about tutoring] is the positive reinforcement,” Yeaple said. “Kind of just having you be like ‘yeah I can actually do this’ and just take a breather. Second would be, tutoring can help you revisit skills that you’re not as good at that the classroom won’t because they kind of expect you to have that knowledge.”
Students can sign up for one-on-one sessions or group sessions. Appointments are made through Cardinal Star, which can be found on the main page of a student’s MyPlattsburgh account. The Learning Center encourages students to utilize the services and resources they have to offer to help students become more successful.