Wednesday, August 31, 2016

[068] For MTSU students, free tutoring (and study skills) hit the spot

MURFREESBORO — As MTSU’s fall semester moves into Week 2, school officials aren’t just stressing to students the importance of study time to their overall academic success, the university is enhancing its free tutoring and offering workshops that outline how to study.

MTSU academic administrators discovered students — particularly recent high school graduates — did not know how to study, said Dr. Cornelia Wills, director in the Office of Student Success.

Starting Aug. 29, and running the entire semester, tutoring will be available at the Tutoring Spot on the first floor of the James E. Walker Library and other campus venues.

“If students don’t know how to study, they’re going to struggle,” said Wills, who credits Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen for the centralized tutoring concept. After conducting a pilot, tutoring was implemented in the library in 2013.

In addition to study skills and learning strategies, tutoring will be available for more than 180 courses, including biology, history, math, computer information systems, recording industry, physics and more.

This initiative is driven by the ongoing Quest for Student Success, a comprehensive, strategic initiative to improve retention and completion rates.

“To be successful and improve the retention and graduation rates for all of our students, we needed to enhance our overall initiative,” Wills added.

A spring 2016 study revealed tutoring had a significant and positive impact on students compared to a matched sample of those who did not receive tutoring.

Peers will be tutors for the struggling or potentially struggling students. Preparing for the Aug. 29 start, about 160 student tutors met for two hours of training Aug. 27.

Four major areas critical to studying and learning include:

• Time management.
• Note-taking (lectures and reading).
• Where and when to study.
• Memory/learning principles.

The fall semester tutoring sessions for study skills and learning strategies at the Tutoring Spot will be from 1 to 5 p.m. each Monday (no session Sept. 5 for Labor Day), from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

“We are fortunate to have an expert and veteran in the area of study skills and learning strategies that has agreed to conduct the sessions,” Wills said.

For accountability purposes, all participating students will have their MTSU ID card swiped upon entering the session.

The Office for Student Success also makes available free online tutoring in at least 11 disciplines — including math, Spanish, chemistry, accounting and more — through

It also features an online “Road Map for Success” at Topics range from “Neat Stuff for Students” to “Academic Support” to “The Scholarly Scoop.”

For more information, call 615-494-8650 or visit

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