Students helping students is the idea behind the tutor registry.
Adrienne Shumlich/the Gauntlet

Tutor registry program in full swing

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Students helping students is the main initiative for the Students' Union's tutor registry program, which launched at the University of Calgary in January. The program offers assistance from students or alumni to anyone struggling with their academics. The program also increases students' learning experience.

The tutor registry is an online database where students can search for help from skilled and qualified individuals within the university community. Over 300 applicants responded to the su's call in 2011 for students interested in tutoring and lending a hand.

"The su is committed to exploring the development of a new tutor registry program for students in need," said former su vice-president academic Ola Mohajer in utoday on Oct. 28, 2011, before the registry was implemented. "All of us have the potential to succeed, so it's frustrating when you want to reach out for help and you're not sure who to turn to."

As of January 2012, the tutor registry built its database, with over 30 tutors approved and working for the program.

According to su vice-president academic Kenya-Jade Pinto, the tutor registry is a win-win enterprise, where students can receive academic help from skilled students who have mastered certain subjects, and where skilled tutors can receive part-time earnings.

"The tutor registry is important because it works two-fold -- it's service by students for students," said Pinto. "In one aspect, we're helping students academically, and in another we're creating a community of learning where students can help one another."

The tutor registry is a free service, in which students can use the database to find a tutor by program, faculty and course. Students can also rate tutors and leave comments to guide new users to the registry to find a right tutor for them. Tutors gain teaching experience and can broaden their skills.

Tutors must at least be in their second year of study, must maintain an A- in the course they wish to tutor, have a gpa of at least 3.0 and submit an application and transcript before they can become a tutor for the registry.

According to Pinto, accessibility for students is a main priority for the tutor registry. She said it has been put in place to ensure students have resources available for easy access to academic aid.

"We want to make sure that it's accessible to students, that they know it's there," said Pinto. She said students should use the resources the su and the U of C have in place for assistance to ensure students have a positive learning experience.

"There are great resources out there, not just that the su provides, but that the university provides as well, and students have many options that are in place to help them succeed," she said.

Pinto said the su will make improvements to the registry with the browsing and navigation capabilities. She said the tutor registry is beneficial for all who use it.

"As far as going forward with the tutor registry, we are exploring the feasibility of further developing the program," said Pinto.