By Tuyen Anh Hoang
Developmental math instructor Chaz Hafey took his students on a tour of campus on the first day of class to show them where to get a Student ID to utilize resources of the Math Lab and the library.
Anyone who visits the center can get a 15-minute tutoring session. Math Lab Coordinator Rosalind Lang-Overall said, “Some students need longer than 15 minutes.”
Acknowledging the demand of students, Lang-Overall created one-on-one tutoring, which began last semester. Specifically, a student has 55 minutes to sit with a tutor one on one Monday- Thursday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Brenda Cothran, a Brookhaven industrial engineering student, said the one-on-one session is the best one of all when it comes to working on math problems because “you have a tutor’s undivided attention for an entire 55 minutes.”
Students of all math courses can seek help in the Math Lab, whether or not they are taking classes at Brookhaven. Math Lab tutor and adjunct professor Ivan Kiggundu said: “You can come from UNT or you can come from anywhere. As long as you come to the Math Lab and you need help with a particular problem, tutors will try to assist you as much as they can.”
On the other hand, Lang- Overall said, “Research shows that SLPs [Supplemental Learning Programs] will raise a student’s letter grade one letter,” and tutors have seen great improvement when students go to every section of SLPs.
Lang-Overall said, “We look at the data for all math classes, including the pass, fail and success rate. We pick classes according to how students are doing in those particular classes.”
SLPs were designed to support students beyond the class and allow collaboration with instructors as well. Tutors for each designed course will go into a class, introduce themselves as SLP leaders and talk about the benefits of SLP. The leader sits in a classroom, takes notes, and captures the most important points or vocabulary from the lecture.
SLP leader Charu Misra said it is an interactive session: “10 minutes after the class we hold our own Supplementary Learning session, which means we discuss the problems that we did in class, if students had any learning questions or any concepts they were not able to grasp during the lecture.”
Lang-Overall said the Math Lab has monthly workshops for the Texas Success Initiative assessment for incoming freshmen, returning students or students who want to retake the test. The Math Lab provides practice tests and tutors for assistance in case students have questions. The difference in this term is that students are required to sign up to take the TSI assessment.
Lang-Overall said the Math Lab offers calculators students can check out for the entire semester with a Brookhaven ID. Students must bring it back with a full battery by the end of semester. Lang-Overall said math tutors are trained monthly on different topics that impact tutoring and education. She said, “You have to be able to communicate with a diverse group of people when you’re in the Math Lab, because our students are not easy to deal with; you have to have that training in order for you to be effective. We have an exceptional group of dedicated tutors that will get down to the nitty gritty of helping students.”
Hunter Kershen, Brookhaven science student, said if students are willing to invest time to study the material every single day and seek help from tutors, they will be successful in their classes. Kershen said: “Being a student who thought he was not good at math and is making all As in every single one of his math classes, take it from me that the Math Lab is where to go.”