I was lucky to have a mother who tutored math, part time. She helped high school and college students in Calculus, Geometry, Algebra, and Trigonometry in the comfort of her home. She did not actively promote her own business, but somehow would still maintain a consistent flow of students coming to her for help.
I remember sitting in the living room doing homework while I listened to her explain polynomials to a young girl or boy in the next room. She was so patient with her students, but firm too. She wanted them to learn. She would have them do the problems on their own, ask them questions to make sure they understood, and encourage them if they succeeded. Both parents and students would always leave so grateful for the time that my mother put aside to teach them, one-on-one. Though I didn’t realize how blessed I was at the time, I was grateful for her help in those subjects, too.
Tutoring affects students in positive ways. Many students in high school or college are undeclared, struggle in multiple subjects, and have no clear view of what they want to do for a career or major, post high school. Nothing stands out to them, everything seems hard, and they begin to form a negative self-image. If they decide not to seek out help or counsel during this time of struggle, they can find themselves giving up on their classes, majors, and school itself. Because of this, tutoring can actually positively impact the success of undeclared students in graduating.
According to a study done by Kelly McKenzie and David Reinheimer in the Journal of College Reading and Learning, they concluded two things:
- Tutoring helps to increase the retention rate of undeclared students.
- Tutoring helps undeclared students succeed in graduating college.
Why and how are these two things connected? By going through tutoring sessions, students are finally being exposed to one-on-one, personal attention in a teaching setting. Their tutors are focusing on how the student learns, what areas they’re struggling with, and what are the best ways for that student to study and move forward. With this new-found personal learning experience, students retain the information they’re being taught much better, and then apply it to their exams, homework, and class lectures. The students are then able to understand their subjects and thus grow in the interest of learning it, as well.
With that growth of interest, students enjoy their classes more. In addition, they feel more confident in their ability to overcome difficult problems, exams, and classes because through their tutoring, they ultimately learn more about themselves. They understand how they learn, think, and study, and apply these methods and new-found understanding to all of their subjects and classes.
So, with the increase in retention rates and interest, graduation follows. Students naturally become socially integrated in the academic circle. They will connect better with other students, professors, and tutors because of the commonality they share in the subjects they are learning/teaching. With these new connections in place, students will feel as if they are part of something bigger than just the class they are taking, and thus may feel more driven and determined to graduate and receive their degrees.
Social integration in school is equally as important as academic – and tutoring can help open both of those doors. In addition to tutoring programs, both mentoring and college prep courses are provided to teens at the Y. The Harrisburg Area YMCA seeks to help youth and teens as they walk through life’s various challenges – school being one of them! We believe it is important for students to feel confident in their ability to overcome these challenges, with the help of our staff. We provide coaching, education, and encouragement so that teens will feel welcome and impacted through our various programs.
I was grateful that I had someone close to me who could teach and guide me through high-school’s difficult classes. With the help of the YMCA, children and teens in the community can receive that help, too.
For more information on the programs we offer, visit the links below!