Returning to school can be daunting, particularly after years away from the discipline of note-taking, paper-writing and studying. It is understandable that even excellent students might feel anxious about re-entering the academic realm after time in the working world.
The Lowcountry Graduate Center (LGC) has partnered with Tutor Matching Service (TMS) to offer expanded tutoring options to students taking classes at the North Charleston facility from any of LGC’s participating universities. TMS allows students to search for both students and non-students who offer private tutoring either online, in-person, or both. Students may search for tutors based on location, subject, cost, tutor rating, and availability.
More than 100 institutions participate in TMS, and its robust qualifying and rating system ensures that students have a sense of their prospective tutor’s qualifications.
For example, searching for a tutor in the Charleston area would lead to Jessica Williford, a graduate student in College of Charleston’s Child Life program. Williford is trained and certified by the College and has a verifiable 4.0 GPA in graduate school.
The online description also lists Williford’s areas of expertise, which include study and research skills, two subjects that might be of interest to returning students. She says most of the 40 or so students who have hired her through CofC’s Center for Student Learning needed a consultation or two at $20/hour. It’s largely up to them to practice the skills she teaches them.
One strategy she encourages students to adopt is to learn the material being tested in a class and then teach it to someone else. When students practice the strategy with her, she asks probing questions that require the students to understand what they are teaching.
Williford says many students make the mistake of writing down everything a teacher says and attempting to memorize it. Often that method of studying blunts understanding.
Williford helps students with time management, something of particular importance to returning students with full-time jobs and/or families. She helps her clients determine when and where to study, because they are often attempting to work in places not conducive to good study habits, like the dining room table.
The LGC has set aside private study rooms in the library at the North Charleston facility for face-to-face meetings. The location is central and secure, and offers easy access and plentiful parking.
The LGC offers limited tutoring assistance funds, so it’s wise to act quickly if you need that extra help.
Tutors on TMS do not work for the LGC. These are individuals offering private services through TMS. They set their own fees and availability and LGC cannot guarantee the quality of the tutoring services they offer. However, TMS does offer a money-back guarantee on its tutoring services for those paying out of pocket privately.
“If been out of school a long time,” notes Williford, “what worked as an undergrad might not work for grad school.”