Ohio University

Part One: Words, Equations, and Student Connections

Part One: Words, Equations, and Student Connections

The Writing and Math Center welcomes students to use Student Success Services as a resource for their classes. Remodeled fall semester of 2019, a new look has created a learning environment consisting of study cubbies, computer access, and 1:1 student support in the Stevenson Center.

Student tutors specialize in assisting their peers with grammar, brainstorming, and thesis-driven projects. Appointments are encouraged, but not necessary. Upon arrival, students and faculty members are greeted with a smile. Typical social interactions consist of the following dialogue:

“Hello, welcome to the Student Success Center.”

“Do you need help with English or Math?”

“Are you here to learn with us?”

“What background information and specifics do we need to be aware of before we give you feedback?”

“Please, feel free to stay and take advantage of our open area.”

Student tutors approach sessions with an open mindset, where listening becomes the key element to promoting peer discussions—this unlocks a healthy environment for all students to develop critical thinking skills.

Kirsten McDaniel, an English/Chemistry tutor, describes her connection to the academic learning space, “Working in the Writing Center is great. I like helping people. I enjoy reading other students’ papers, learning about topics in other fields of study.”

When asked what kind of topics that drew her interest, Kirsten responded with a grin, “I’m not really into history so, it’s cool to read history papers or a research paper in a class I’ve never taken. Walking into a tutoring session, (regardless if a paper is written), both tutee and I brainstorm together—usually I ask them what they do know about the topic that they are given, whether they have researched, and if not, I show them how to utilize a journal search from Alice Catalog. I ask them for buzz words and we just fill in all of the slots—hit go on the Chillicothe campus[AN1]  website.”

The question came up while conversing with Kirsten if anything could be improved in the tutoring process at the Student Success Center. She replied, “Even though we go into the classes to explain what tutors do, and what we are capable of in sessions, students often come into the Writing Center expecting us to write for them. I think it would easier to interact with our peers if students knew that we’re here to help them learn—that their own work is valuable in being written.”

“Sometimes, there is a disconnection between us and student tutees, when they expect student tutors to get them the “good grades.” Kirsten emphasized the atmosphere that she expects in the Writing Center, “I try to encourage students by saying you’re doing it, YOU are getting it done—here—and this is the first step. If I can encourage them to get over the hump of initial anxiety—that’s what I do.”

Another English tutor, Sierra Adams, expressed a similar desire to create a positive student working environment. She responded enthusiastically when asked about the impact of student tutoring, “Learning students’ stories have impacted me the most in my time here at the Writing Center. I particularly gather a lot from personal narratives, when professors assign students to write about events in their lives that shape their futures. They arrive for English, but conversations often overpower technicalities. I’ll ask questions to better understand their personal histories, yet many times—to my surprise—they share their difficulties and triumphs rather freely. This degree of connection can be emotionally taxing—but without a doubt—is the most rewarding part.”

The Student Success Center (Writing, Math, and Arranged Specialized Tutoring) welcomes everyone to utilize this free service on the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus!

Monday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Friday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Closed Saturdays/Sundays/University Holidays*

T: 740.774.7779