They are always there for us when we need help to better understand course materials, break down content, and prepare us for exams — it’s our College of Western Idaho (CWI) Tutoring Services and Writing Center! CWI wants to show appreciation for our hardworking tutors by recognizing them during National Tutor Week, from Oct. 3 – 7.
This week, be sure to give a tutor a big ‘Thank you!’ in-person, or online. Leadership with the Tutoring Services created a webpage for students, faculty, and staff to leave thank you notes for CWI tutors.
“Our tutors are doing what they do because they love to help students, and they care about others success,” said Assistant Director of Tutoring Services, Valerie Lee. “When a student sees success, I believe our tutors feel like they are successful, too, and it is great to be part of that student’s story.”
CWI Tutoring Services and Writing Center employs around 60 – 70 tutors each semester, each coming with a wide variety of skills and knowledge in various subjects, such as English Language, science, technology, engineering, math, business, Career Technical Education (CTE) courses, and more.
While each enters the job with a specific area of expertise, tutors still have training they need to go through to help students to the best of their ability. That training looks like how to help students identify where they're struggling, assessing the trouble areas, and coming up with a plan for success.
“We want to help students in the moment, but we also want to help them become better learners on their own,” Lee said. “The best feeling is when a student doesn't need a tutor anymore and has become an independent learner thanks to their tutor.”
Whether it is in a group setting or one-on-one, Tutoring Services at CWI offer free, in-person, embedded, and online tutoring to currently enrolled CWI students. This includes dual enrollment students, like those attending high school and CWI or Boise State University simultaneously.
Tutoring Services is comprised of all types of tutors. There are some who are CWI students looking to lend a helping hand, retired educators looking to give back to those around them, and plenty of others with different backgrounds in our community choosing to work with students.
“They do it because they love to tutor,” Lee said. “Plus, tutoring allows for a flexible schedule and is a fun environment.”
Business Lead Tutor, Pam Roemer, started working with Tutoring Services for the latter, but stayed for the former.
“I needed money and a job while attending classes. I applied because I enjoy assisting people with knowledge,” Roemer said. “I stayed in tutoring because I enjoyed working with students, coaching them on how to discover resources available for learning, how to not to panic over course material that appears difficult, and helping students realize they can do it!”
As the Business Lead Tutor, Roemer works with many people in need of assistance in math courses, which is not always everyone’s cup of tea. Helping empower students who are struggling to grasp course concepts has become one of Roemer’s favorite parts of tutoring.
Roemer can remember many looks of excitement when students realize they understand the material, she calls it their ‘aha moment.’
“I like seeing the lightbulb go on when the subject, and content begins to make sense,” Roemer said.
Roemer believes being part of CWI has empowered her with confidence to be bold and to step out of her comfort zone. She attributes it to knowing the College’s staff and faculty are with her throughout her educational and working journey.
“I want to pass on confidence to the students I tutor by encouraging them to be bold in their courses,” Roemer said.
“I hear all the time from students that our tutors are the reason they were able to pass a class because they instilled confidence in them and were able to get them the help they needed,” Lee said. “Tutors give others a sense of belonging on campus.”