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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Campus tutoring services adjust learning experience for fall

SLAC+employee+tutors+students+inside+the+SLAC+Lab+located+on+the+fourth+floor+of+Alkek+Library+at+Texas+State+University.+SLAC+will+operate+both+in+an+in-person+and+virtual+learning+space+this+fall.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+SLAC%29

SLAC employee tutors students inside the SLAC Lab located on the fourth floor of Alkek Library at Texas State University. SLAC will operate both in an in-person and virtual learning space this fall. (Photo courtesy of SLAC)

With a new campus reality imminent, Texas State tutoring services have redesigned their approach in delivering quality academic assistance by implementing in-person, online and hybrid learning options for students this semester.
Although the fall semester is expected to look different than previous years, the priorities of campus tutoring services remain the same: Help students excel both on and off-campus.
Math CATS, a campus tutoring service specializing in math-related work, will implement a completely virtual tutoring experience this semester.
“Everything is going to be online,” Math CATS Coordinator Illona Weber said. “With COVID still being so unpredictable, in order to try to keep as many people as safe as possible, there is no public access for Math CATS.”
The service will conduct tutoring sessions from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, via Zoom. Students can access online sessions through the Math CATS website where the Zoom meeting ID is posted.
Prior to each session, several breakout rooms will be set up. Once students join the session, the Zoom host will ask them what subject matter they are working on before sending them to an individual breakout room.
When a student needs help or has a question, they can signal with a hand raise or send the host a message. The host will then send a tutor into the breakout room who will then work with the student.
“We try to design it so that the tutor isn’t hovering over the client,” Weber said. “They’re there when they have questions and then they leave and let the client just work in peace at their own pace.”
Students looking for an individual tutoring experience can sign up for a virtual appointment through the Math CATS website. Individual sessions will be conducted in 45-minute blocks through Zoom.
David von Miller is the director of the Collaborative Learning Center (CLC), an on-campus tutoring resource for students in the College of Science and Engineering. While von Miller believes it is only a matter of time until all instruction is moved online, he will be working to enforce strict health measures in the CLC.
The CLC tutoring space located in Ingram Hall will be capped at two students and two tutors at a time. Only six students at a time will be allowed in the 22-capacity computer lab; keyboards will be covered in plastic sheets. Masks and hand sanitizing will also be mandatory.
In addition to in-person tutoring, a virtual experience will also be available to students via Zoom.
Even when students are not in the CLC space, von Miller implores students to do their part. He encourages everyone to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and refrain from partying.
“I know that’s not what they want to do, but the more [we follow safety protocols], the sooner we’ll be able to get back to face-to-face instruction, get our economy open and get back to socializing,” von Miller said.
The CLC’s fall tutoring schedule will be posted on their website Sept. 7.
Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), an academic support program offered to all Texas State students, will also operate both in an in-person and virtual learning space this fall.
SLAC offers individual and group tutoring services as well as Supplemental Instruction (SI), a collaborative group study experience designed for select courses.
The majority of SI sessions offered through SLAC will be conducted virtually. Only select courses, such as courses with low enrollment, will be allowed to offer face-to-face SI sessions.
“Depending on how the semester goes, if things go well, we may be able to reincorporate additional face-to-face sessions, but we are also fully prepared to go totally onto Zoom if we needed to,” Associate Director of SLAC Lindley Workman Alyea said.
SLAC will continue to operate on a walk-in basis this fall. Like other spaces on campus, only 50% of the SLAC lab area will be occupied.
Students interested in an in-person tutoring experience can expect to see reduced and rearranged furniture in the SLAC lab area, which remains located on the fourth floor of Alkek Library.
All tutoring services offered through SLAC will be accessible virtually for students who prefer a remote learning experience. Links to Zoom rooms for specific subject areas will be available on the SLAC website.
Despite the new realities students will face this semester, Workman Aleya encourages students to take advantage of SLAC’s services. She says it is a space where students can receive the academic help they need as well as connect with other students.
“We would really hope that students would really use those resources that the university is providing for them,” Workman Aleya said. “As we all kind of go through this transition, just having that contact even with students in the Zoom rooms, I think would be nice to have.”
SLAC and Math CATS plan to resume tutoring Aug. 24, while CLC has a tentative opening date of Sept. 8. For more information regarding on-campus tutoring services visit their websites.
The University Star reached out to the Texas State Writing Center for this story and received a response stating it will operate completely remote but has not yet finished developing plans on how all services will work this fall.

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  • SLAC employee tutors students inside the SLAC Lab located on the fourth floor of Alkek Library at Texas State University. SLAC will operate both in an in-person and virtual learning space this fall. (Photo courtesy of SLAC)

  • SLAC employee helps tutor a student inside the SLAC Lab located on the fourth floor of Alkek Library at Texas State University. SLAC is an academic support program offered to all Texas State students and will operate both in an in-person and virtual learning space this fall.

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