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The U’s Learning Center Finds a Place at the Library

This fall there is a new partner to welcome into the library. Part of the Student Success and Empowerment Initiative, the Learning Center is an academic support program designed to help new students and those needing a bit of a leg up. The catch? It’s all about students helping students.

Having originated out of the Counseling Center, this student-to-student, peer based program has been operating in one form or another for nearly three decades. The Learning Center provides one-on-one tutoring (scheduled), drop-in tutoring (also located in the library), as well as Supplemental Instruction.

Students who have successfully completed classes that are challenging for new students are employed to help students through the Supplemental Instruction Program. These student tutors are then embedded in these classes in order to reach current students who might be struggling. Students can then choose to participate in the study sessions where they review notes, discuss readings, and prep for exams.

Students in these peer-led sessions generally see an increase their GPA and gain the confidence they need to stick with college. Approximately 1,000 students participate each year.

From left to right, Roula Sargetakis, Executive Secretary, Casey Hoekstra, Program Manager, and Riley Larsen, Academic Coordinator.

“We in the Learning Center strive to empower students to succeed in their college career and beyond,” states Program Manager Casey Hoekstra. “Our tutoring services are intended to help students gain a deeper understanding of their course content as well as to develop transferable skills to help them become more successful students.”

Spotlight on a Student Tutor

My name is Michael Dichmann and I am currently a tutor for Human Anatomy, Organic Chemistry, and a few other biology courses. I grew up in southern California and moved to Salt Lake City because of the sciences here at the U. I am a third-year undergraduate studying biology, and I am enjoying every course that I take. My career goals include medical school and eventually becoming an oncologist.

Throughout my life, I have tutored students for many various courses, even when I was currently in the same class as the student. I love teaching others, and it is one of my favorite things to see a steady increase in a student’s understanding and confidence about a subject. I am currently a tutor for the Learning Center, and I am elated to be helping other students succeed in their academic endeavors.

“Tutoring, like teaching, is an essential component of an effective academic system. I take much pride in being able to assist other students in better understanding of their subjects. I truly love teaching others and helping them become even closer to their goals.”
– Michael Dichmann, third-year Biology major
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