By Sierra Donovan
“When you come in for help, you’re being smart, you’re being proactive,” said Lisa O’Halloran, while sitting in her office that overlooks the Tutoring Center from the back of the room. The Center, located at 111 Wilkens Hall, is a relatively small space. It’s big enough to accommodate several cubicles along the sides of the room, but small enough to feel comfortable and inviting. The room buzzed quietly with conversations between students and tutors as O’Halloran, the academic coordinator of the Center, eagerly described the services they offer here, as well as its related student resources: the Reading and Writing Center (108 Wilkens Hall) and the Math Learning Center (112 Science Building).
“We offer tutoring for all types of courses, not just core subjects,” said O’Halloran. While the most popular subjects students come in for are math, chemistry, and writing. The Center offers assistance with any class offered at Cape Cod Community College, from nursing to engineering to foreign language. Across all the Academic Support Services offered at 4Cs, there are 12 professional tutors, four learning specialists, and nearly 50 peer tutors. Some of which also work as supplemental instructors in classrooms on campus – so students are sure to find the help they need. Victor Ferreira, a tutor at 4Cs since last September, specializes in physics and math but gives advice for students of any major to put into practice outside of the Center said, “Talk to your professors, they want you to succeed.”
Individuals looking to utilize any of these services should know that both the Reading and Writing Center and Math Learning Center welcome drop-ins and do not require appointments. However, while the Tutoring Center accommodates walk-ins when possible, scheduling appointments is preferred. Students can sign up for 30 minute- or hour-long sessions either by visiting the kiosk at the entrance of the Tutoring Center or by signing up online with the link provided on the Academic Support Services page of the 4Cs website.
Another option for students who may not want face-to-face tutoring, or who have exceeded the Tutoring Center’s weekly limit of appointments (one hour per course), should take advantage of Brainfuse; a free online tutoring service that can be accessed 24/7 through students’ Moodle accounts. Brainfuse offers many similar services that in-person tutoring does, including live interaction with trained tutors, flashcards, and online study groups.
With midterms right around the corner; students who are anxious about their academic performance or who may simply want to reinforce concepts they already know shouldn’t hesitate to make use of the Tutoring Center and its related services. “Get help early, don’t let it snowball,” said Ferreira. “There are so many resources available.” O’Halloran commented that the weeks leading up to midterms is not only when they start seeing more students come in, but it also marks an increase in regulars who continue to come back after the exam. “Use us, get to know us,” said O’Halloran. “We have regulars who finish what they came here for and still come in because it’s a comfort zone for them… there’s no stigma.”