Peer educators understand the anxieties that come along with asking for help.
“I’ve been there,” said Morgan Johnson, senior team lead for the peer educator leadership team. “I have struggled many times and have been too embarrassed or afraid to ask for help at times.”
Johnson works for Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction, which is a service on campus that has recently expanded thanks to the Title V grant Dalton State received last year. More resources mean even more students can find the best tutor for their needs.
“The peer education team is made up of students,” she said. “We want our peers to know we are determined to create a personalized and welcoming experience for everyone."
Johnson said working with students through one session or a whole semester makes the role of a peer tutor the most gratifying job on campus.
“I had a student come to me this semester who had a C in biology,” she said. “She was really struggling and didn’t know what to do. I met with her two times a week and we went through every term and every definition. She had done so well on the remainder of the course that she was exempt from her final and made an A in the class.”
Peer educators go through monthly training to make sure they have the tools necessary to accommodate each style.
“We discuss how to navigate the first session with a student, ways to identify how the student learns best and how to tackle the material of that session,” Johnson said. “Training helps further develop tutor skills when they face students who are having a difficult time focusing, or when a student is having a rough day.”
This training helps SI leaders in their weekly sessions and teaches them how to use activities, like ice breakers and memorization games, to cater to every student that attends.
“SI leaders are like model students,” said Brooklyn Herrera, coordinator for tutoring and SI. “They lead by example, show students what kind of questions to ask during class and how to take notes. Some students have anxiety just at the thought of communicating with their professors or in a large group. The SI leader acts as an ally; especially to those of us who struggle in that area.”
SI leaders are assigned to a specific class with a specific professor each semester. They host and prepare two study sessions outside of class every week based on the material the professor covers, Herrera said. Each group study session is developed to help students feel more engaged with the content of the course.
“Dalton State has such an amazing community of students,” Johnson said. “We have to help each other push forward and overcome the challenges we face.”
Not sure where to go to find help? You can find peer educators working in the Dean of Students Office as a one-on-one tutor by appointment. Tutors are also available in the math lab and science learning center in Peeples Hall, or in a qualifying class as an SI leader. Click here to see the Spring 2020 schedule of SI-targeted courses.
Scheduling a one-on-one appointment with a peer tutor is easy. You can schedule a one time appointment with a peer tutor and choose what time, which course and even which tutor you prefer. They also give you the option to schedule a tutor appointment with the same tutor at the same time each week.
“I recommend scheduling reoccurring appointments,” Johnson said. “This gives the student an opportunity to find a peer tutor they like and gives the tutor more time to determine the learning style of the student and approach the material accordingly.”
posted 02/19/2020 in Uncategorized
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