Increased funding for peer tutoring services has led to improvements to operations this year that include more tutors and coaches on staff, additional coverage of subjects and a booking system upgrade.
An allocated $27,000 from Algonquin College students’ ancillary tuition fees was given to the Student Learning Centre’s peer tutoring services. This was completed as part of the Algonquin College Strategic Plan 2017-2022 detailed in the Treasurer’s Report of the 2018‐2019 Annual Budget.
“We have more subjects now,” said Ritu Sindhu, Student Learning Centre representative and student in the office administration program. “There was always a high demand for difficult subjects like Java and other programming languages, and now we have tutors in those subjects.”
Sindhu said that operational procedure in the centre had noticeably improved compared to just a few months ago. The increased funding, which allowed for more coaches and tutors, created the need for a more complex booking system.
“It’s not just an upgrade, it’s a whole new system that’s much easier to use than the old one,” Sindhu said. “It makes registration easy, on and off campus.”
Ethan Kutschke, another Student Learning Centre representative and a student in hospitality and tourism management, explained that the new changes didn’t result in a bigger or busier centre, just a centre that runs more smoothly.
“It’s hard to scope out whether we have more customers due to the increased budget or not. It’s not a super busy time right now, but we will see closer to midterms.”
Kutschke said that the tutoring service always produced good results even before the budget change.
As always, the tutoring service paid for itself through customers and was self-sustaining. It was mostly the coaching service that needed some investment, expansion and promotion.
“Coaching is a free service,” Kutschke explained, which was why in order for the service to grow and improve, the college had to spend money toward it.
The difference between the tutoring service and the coaching service is that tutors focused on building concrete skills under a specific subject, whereas coaches worked on strategies to help students succeed.
Both services are available at Peer Tutoring Services located in room 259 in C-building.