Attending a tutoring session this week could net students a sizable UT Bookstore gift card in advocation of National Tutoring Week.
    
The National Tutoring Association this week is pushing for increases in secondary and higher education tutoring. The NTA is the only national association in the United States accredited to train and provide authentication to tutors, tutor trainers and tutorial programs.
    
UT offers several different tutoring programs and places to receive tutoring, including the Educational Advancement Program, the Multicultural Student Life Center, the Writing Center, and specifically by the math and chemistry departments. Students who attend tutoring in one of these centers this week will be entered into a drawing to earn a gift card to the UT Bookstore.
    
“It’s just something we can do to try to get students more interested in using the tutoring centers and applying to become tutors,” Brian DiNuzzo, assistant director of the Student Success Center, said. “The Student Success Center already does a lot of other great things, like helping with academic probation and providing academic coaches.”
   
 UT hired DiNuzzo this past summer to organize and promote efficiency among the university’s tutoring centers. Additionally, he is charged with developing a tutoring program in the SSC. The SSC has begun taking applications for tutors who will begin working in the spring, after training begins in January.
    
The most widely used tutorial program at the university is the Writing Center, located at the end of the top floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences building.
    
“So far this year, we have had about 3,500 people come through the doors of the writing center looking for assistance,” Dr. Marcel Brouwers, acting director of the Writing Center, said. “Every year, the Writing Center averages about 18,000 people helped. We employ 35 tutors this year. Appointments can be made, but 90 percent of it is walk in and wait.”
    
It’s not just the students who benefit from tutorial programs. Tutors also find a form of self-validation.
   
 “I’ve wanted to be a tutor here since freshman year, so I was really excited when I found out they’d hire me,” Alexandria Parris, senior in psychology, said. “There are always students in here. I love being a tutor because not only are you giving back to the university, but it helps you better with the subject you’re teaching.”
    
Another popular tutorial center on campus is inside the Black Cultural Center with the Multicultural Student Life Center, formerly the Office of Minority Student Affairs. This year, the MSLC employs about 45 tutors, but academic support unit coordinator Charlie Edmonds said they are ambitiously looking to hire a total of 75.
    
“One of the most popular things the MSLC does is on Thursday nights, when students can get walk-in tutoring for whatever they need,” Parris, who also works with the MSLC, said. “And as the name says, students of any ethnicity are welcome.”
    
The drawing for bookstore gift cards for students who attend tutoring during National Tutoring Week will be held at the end of this week and those students will be contacted.
    
Applications for peer tutoring at the Student Success Center can be found at studentsuccess.utk.edu/support/tutoring/index.shtml and are due on Oct. 21.