Tutors say helping fellow students is a rewarding learning experience

Jared and Emma

Jared Grogan and Emma Huber say they enjoyed helping their fellow students academically.

Melissa Berry / UAH

Working with the Student Success Center (SSC) Tutoring Program is also a great learning experience, say two University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) undergraduates and tutors who plan to continue their educations after graduation in May.

The pending departures of Emma Huber, Jared Grogan and others provides openings for new student tutors in the SSC Tutoring Programs, which offer students continued training and development as a part of their tutor position. Apply online by March 23 for fall, or find out more about SSC opportunities.

"Many of our tutors move on to exciting opportunities after graduation, whether they are starting their first professional job or moving on to graduate or professional school. Our tutors are all over the country, from MIT to Notre Dame, and internationally through serving in the Peace Corps," says Valerie Johnson, tutoring programs coordinator. "I am so proud of all of my past and present tutors' accomplishments and I cannot wait to meet our new tutors for next fall."

Huber says the SSC provided her the privilege of helping students from many different cultures and backgrounds.

"I was able to learn new things as I helped others," says Huber, a senior psychology major. "SSC training has led me to change the way I think about learning and approach problems. It encouraged me to do better in my classes and gave me people to talk to when I was struggling with a subject."

She plans to pursue her master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

"Working with the SSC has given me tools and experiences that I will able to use and learn from throughout my next few years in graduate school," Huber says. "Throughout thinking about graduate school, applying and getting accepted, I had amazing guidance from my professors. They encouraged me to apply for opportunities, such as being first author on a poster and presenting at psychology conferences.

"I was able to use these opportunities to improve my skills and knowledge," she says. "Working hard in my classes, making connections with my professors and going for opportunities available to me helped me reach my next step: getting into a graduate school that I'm thrilled to be attending."

Grogan, a senior mathematics and economics dual major, says his SSC tutoring experience helped him open up.

"I can be quite introverted, and the act of tutoring involves speaking with others, so being an SSC tutor helped me learn how to be more comfortable in social situations, both during sessions and in the office with other tutors," he says. "I've also been able to drill on lower level math concepts that are helpful in upper level courses."

After graduating, Grogan will start a pre-doctoral research assistant position for the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University.

"Essentially, I'll be preparing and analyzing data sets for labor economists at Princeton for at least a year," Grogan says. "This was a result of me working with Professor David Card at the University of California-Berkeley last summer as his undergraduate research assistant. The experience will help me learn more about research before I eventually enroll in an economics PhD program."

Seeing the light bulb go off for fellow students was gratifying, both tutors agree.

"For most concepts in the subjects I tutor, it is important to ‘see’ how the concept is actually connected to something learned before. Once you ‘see’ it, you don't usually forget it, so you have only one chance to experience the ‘Eureka!’ moment that follows," Grogan says. "As a tutor, however, I've had the opportunity to not only see others have the ‘Eureka!’ moments, but I've also had a hand in the students finding the connection."

"It was rewarding and humbling," Huber says, "to help students who were struggling to reach that ‘ah ha’ moment where something clicks, and you can see their confidence grow."


Valerie Johnson

Jim Steele


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