Peer Tutoring: A Win-Win Program for Both Participants

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

It’s no secret that everyone struggles academically at some point in his life. The good news is that there are many alternatives to just giving up, such as turning to a peer tutor for help.

But who are the peer tutors at Notre Dame?

For people unfamiliar with the program, Peer Tutoring is an option for all grades and any student who is struggling.

When a student comes in looking for some assistance with a particular subject matter, we try to place them with a student that has volunteered to become a peer tutor,” explained Mrs. Maurine Campbell, who facilitates the peer tutoring program. “We try to match those according to their study hall period if at all possible.”

The peer  program runs through Student Services with Mrs. Campbell as the person to talk to if a student is interested in either side of the program.

“Our peer tutors are on a volunteer basis,” Mrs. Campbell clarified. “There is a form that [a student] can fill out if they would like to volunteer.  It’s a very simple process.  They just check when they are available and the subject matter. There’s a whole menu of academics that are available.”

“I decided to become a peer tutor because I wanted to help people strive and do well in their academic studies,” said Claire Sievert, a sophomore peer tutor. “I know that dealing with classes, extra curriculars, clubs and any other things people are involved with can get kind of overwhelming.”

Sievert tutors specifically for the freshman class ICP, which she completed last year. One of Sievert’s tutees has seen much improvement as a result of her help.

“[Sievert] has helped me understand any problems I’ve been having in my classes and not only helped me improve my grade but also reduce my level of worry.”

Although some students tutor for service hours, Sievert enjoys the time she spends aiding her classmates.

“The reason I signed up to be a peer tutor is because I wanted to be as helpful as I could to those who need it,” she said. “It makes me smile when people reach their goals and are successful.”

“If you are having problems in a class, know that there are tons of people who would love to help,” Anna Patterson, a senior tutor said. “Even the tutors need help with some subjects.”

Patterson loves tutoring and encourages students to join the program early in their high school career. “I think the program is so popular because Notre Dame students want to help [their classmates] succeed. Also, struggling students can get the help they need in an easy and convenient way.” Patterson tutors during her study hall period.

Peer tutoring is offered so that students can get the chance to learn from a classmate rather than in a classroom setting. An average session is once or twice a week for one period over the course of an entire semester.

“We usually go over homework from the previous night and he or she asks questions about something they did not quite understand,” said Sievert in describing a typical session. “I also help them study for upcoming tests, and I like to make prep tests, which they complete during the time that we have.”

There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Mrs. Campbell said. “Quite honestly it is a struggle for some students to come and ask for assistance, but in reality, once they get up here and realize how many students actually work with a peer tutor, they feel very comfortable.”