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Student Learning Center Staff

UC Action Tutoring Helps Students Prepare for Finals

Finals week is right around the corner, and that means its crunch time for OU students. Andrea Salazar Zegarra, a sophomore electrical engineering major from Norman, Oklahoma, knows all too well what it’s like to break out the study books and finish those last minute papers.

One of the more popular places Zegarra and other OU students like to prepare for finals at is the Student Learning Center. The Student Learning Center is a resource with University College that provides academic assistance outside of the classroom, primarily through UC Action tutoring.

Throughout the semester, the center provides tutoring in over 90 subjects through walk-in sessions or by appointment for students who need more one-on-one attention. Students can also schedule a study skills consultation, which focuses on aspects like note taking, test taking, and time management. Additionally, the center hosts monthly UC Action Study Nights, which are specifically exam preparation for some of the larger introductory course like biology, chemistry, and psychology, said Jami Houston, director of the Student Learning Center.

Leading these sessions are peer learning assistants, who are students who received an A in the course they want to tutor, or professors from the classes. According to Houston, these faculty members are interested in the success of their students. For example, all of the faculty members who teach chemistry are often present at the study nights, and a professor aids about 80 students every Tuesday in his biology tutoring session.

Zegarra attended UC Action Tutoring as a freshman and is now working as a peer learning assistant for chemistry. She also serves as a study consultant through the Student Learning Center and tutors in the Gallogly College of Engineering.

Zegarra said she mostly attended the Sunday study nights before her chemistry exams, which was helpful because of the review sheets that provided her with a breakdown of the concepts she needed to know and being around people that were studying at the same time as her.

For finals week, the Student Learning has an adjusted schedule that includes special review sessions. This includes Sunday study nights for biology, chemistry, and psychology, plus additional sessions that any other faculty members want to hold.

While tutoring sometimes has a negative connotation as being for someone who is struggling in a course, the reality is that it is for everyone, Houston said. UC Action Tutoring focuses on active learning, getting the student involved so they can engage at a deeper level with the course’s content and be able to understand and apply it.

“Participating in an action tutoring session is really a sign of students being active in their learning,” Houston explained. “It’s an opportunity to engage with faculty, with their peers, both our tutors and the students that are in their class, so if they’re having trouble connecting, they can come to a smaller tutoring session and meet people who are in their class who are going through the same thing that they are.”