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Tutoring Center is a goldmine for the mind

Dustin Treece, a math and writing tutor works with Natalie Smith and Jashlyn Delacruz, both third-year enginerring students, in the Tutoring Center.

Dustin Treece, a math and writing tutor works with Natalie Smith and Jashlyn Delacruz, both third-year enginerring students, in the Tutoring Center.


A gold mine for the mind is located on the second floor of Bldg. 2.

The Tutoring Center, in Room 210, is a place that every student at Chemeketa should know well.

Natalie Beach, Chemeketa’s dean of Library and Learning Resources, said, “Tutors are kind of like study coaches. They are especially skilled in questioning techniques. Most students know more about the topic they are seeking tutoring in than they realize.”

Beach said that tutors ask questions to help pull knowledge to the surface and then guide students to other resources, such as their notes or textbook.

“Tutors also reinforce good study habits,” she said.

The Tutoring Center offers a mixture of peer tutors, professional tutors, and volunteers.

Beach said that Chemeketa is nationally certified to provide all three levels of the training curriculum approved by the College Reading and Learning Association.

Peer tutors and volunteers must complete at least the first level of training.

Tutors are trained to help the learner work through a problem at whatever pace is needed for learning and understanding to emerge, she said.

Tutors are trained to help the learner work through a problem or a concept for themselves at whatever pace is needed for learning and understanding to emerge.

“Subject demand varies from term to term, but we always try to provide tutors for all levels of math, science, writing, and accounting,” Beach said.

“We also partner with other areas at the college to extend our tutor pool. For instance, the Humanities Department helps provide qualified language and ASL tutors.”

Many students appreciate the versatility of the Tutoring Center.

“Students are welcome to come in just to study,” Beach said. “A lot of learning happens by just talking through what you know or what’s in your notes.”

Tutors also can work with individuals or with a group, depending on the need, Beach said.

Some instructors offer extra credit for time spent at the Tutoring Center:

John Whitney, a Writing 90 instructor, said, “Offering extra credit for working with a tutor is part of a larger strategy of helping students find and take advantage of services they need, or may need in the future, and are paying for, whether they use these service or not.

“Many students …  have developed negative feelings about writing. They may even lack confidence in their ability to learn to write better. Working with a tutor or an instructor usually teaches them that their issues with writing are not very mysterious and
can usually be overcome in a systematic way.”

Tutoring services are paid for with student tuition.

Aspen Padilla, a tutoring coordinator, said, “A lot of students don’t realize that the tutoring services at the college are free.”

Padilla, who began working at the Chemeketa Library in 2008, has been in the Tutoring Center since May 2014. She said that she enjoyed helping students achieve.

The Tutoring Center also offers online tutoring, textbooks for students to use while they are in the center, E-tutoring, and computers with black-and-white printing, Padilla, said.

Chemeketa students can find help at the Tutoring Center for the following classes:

  • Anatomy and physiology;
  • Biology;
  • Chemistry;
  • Physics;
  • Geology;
  • Writing and English;
  • Accounting;
  • Anatomy;
  • Economics;
  • Microsoft Office;
  • Spanish;
  • Statistics;
  • Engineering (circuits and digital systems only); and
  • Web development (HTML, CSS, and Adobe Dreamweaver).

Guinnevere Muir, a tutoring facilitator, said, “Each subject has its own supervisor that they report to. I’m just the glue that holds it all together.

“We work hard to make sure the students … don’t have to wait too long for help, especially math. That’s where students seek the most help.”

Jessica Pearson, a new Chemeketa student, said she comes to the Tutoring Center for math and writing assistance.

“I really appreciate the extra help, and they never make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t know the answer,” she said. “The tutor just helps you find the solution.”

Pearson said she planned to graduate with an AA degree and then transfer for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Beach said that students typically sign in when they come into the center “so that we can track when and how busy we are. Our sign-in data helps us plan our tutor schedule, and we are always looking for feedback that will help us improve our services.”

Tutoring sessions usually last between 5 and 15 minutes, but a student might ask for help several times during a visit.

Most tutoring is drop-in. However, language tutoring is by appointment.

Tutoring Services works in partnership with several other learning assistance areas at the college, including the Language Lab, the Library, the Student Computer Center, the Study Skills Center, and the College Writing Center, Beach said.

Students must register in advance to use eTutoring, the college’s online service. Instructions on how to register are available at and in My Chemeketa.

The Tutoring Center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information on the Tutoring Center, or for face-to-face online tutoring help, students are asked to call 503-399-5190.

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