By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer
The end of the semester is always stressful, but there is a place that can prepare you for those scary finals you are dreading. The Learning and Student Development Center (LSDC) provides WLU students with a comfortable study space, student-tutors, free printing services and snacks. Located on the first floor of Main Hall, LSDC is a hub of students who want to learn and help others master different academic skills.
“We have incredible tutors. They are invested in what they do, and I wish more students used the help that our tutors offer,” said Peggy Howell, Student Support Services Coordinator.
A 1981 West Liberty graduate, Howell returned to campus this year. “I always wanted to work with students in this capacity, not in a classroom setting,” Howell said. Howell spent 30 years teaching in the public school system.
The LSDC currently employs 40 students as tutors, peer mentors and academic coaches. Tutors help students in classes ranging from Spanish to dental hygiene. All LSDC services are free to WLU students.
“There are so many things we can offer, not just tutoring for specific classes,” said graduate assistant Andrea Puga. “A part of my job is being an academic coach which means I can help students improve their study habits, time management and other necessary skills.”
Puga first joined LSDC in 2015 as a math tutor. Since then, she has tutored over ten different subjects including finance, microeconomics and Spanish. Puga received a graduate assistant position at LSDC this past August.
“I’m in a constant learning process here. I learned many pedagogical techniques while working with students. I learned to empathize and relate to the problems of others,” Puga said.
She is one of many tutors who realized that helping others at LSDC is more than a part-time job. “Working here, I realized that I love teaching,” said sophomore Thomas Nagy. “I used to help my friends in high school, but here it’s even more interesting because I get to meet all the different people.”
Nagy primarily tutors students in math and chemistry, and sees a possibility of getting PhD and teaching on a college level in future.
“What I like the most about this place is to see students hanging out and helping each other, creating study groups and solving problems together,” Howell said. “I think with the right resources we can make this center grow and offer even more help.”
LSDC is always looking for more tutors. To apply, interested students should have completed the course with a grade of B or higher. Applications can be found online.
The Center will also extend its hours and be open for students from 8 a.m. to midnight on Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1-6.
Photo credit: Andrea Puga