Campus / News / February 8, 2017

Success tutors focus on study habits

Sophomore and Student Success Tutor Evan Berkey helps a student at the Success Table in the Red Room. (Theresa Murphy/TKS)

Unlike the usual subject-specific tables at Red Room, the Center for Teaching and Learning’s new success table focuses on building good study habits and techniques.

Success tutors staff the table, which started at the beginning of this term. Tutors are available to help students focus on building study habits and learning general skills that will help them to succeed in college.

Sophomore Evan Berkey is one of the current tutors. Though the table has not seen a lot of traffic so far, he thinks that it will pick up next term and especially Fall Term 2017, when tutors can reach out to freshmen.

“We’re going to be there helping the first-years get acclimated and allowing them to understand their study habits and what works in college and what really doesn’t,” Berkey said.

The new program is being supervised by Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning John Haslem, who is also teaching a class once a week of about 20 students to prepare them to be success tutors. The class has focused on assessing members’ personal habits and on studying theory for tutoring.

“We’re looking at a lot of different areas in the learning process where we can provide specific support for students. And my hope is that by the end of this year, that we’ll have an enormous amount of practical pedagogical material,” Haslem said.

He said that success tutors can advise students about topics including how to prepare prior to classes, reading critically, studying for tests, time management and how to coordinate co-curricular and curricular life.

Junior Rebecca Katz, who is a success tutor, said that it took them some time to figure out how to be successful in college and hopes that this new program will get other students to that goal more quickly.

“It took me awhile to figure out at Knox how to be successful and how to effectively take notes on a textbook or in class and I just feel like a lot of that information is already out there, somebody else already did it,” Katz said. “We can help students be successful much sooner and much quicker.”

Success tutoring is one of several of the CTL’s new initiatives. Another program that started this term is the Success TALKS speaker series, which is one of Student Success Coordinator Laura Bush’s projects. The speaker series allows students to attend dinners and virtual conversations with a variety of recent Knox alumni.

The college has hosted two this term and will host another on Feb. 20 with Ashlee Pitts ‘15, who is currently working for Teach for America in Mississippi. Three more Success TALKS will happen Spring Term.

“The goal is to inform and inspire and reach as many students as possible,” Bush said, noting that it also connects current students with the alumni network.

Bush moved to her current position after the college received Mellon Grant funding that made the position possible on Jan. 4, 2016. As the Student Success Coordinator she focuses on serving students who are first-generation or income eligible. The Success Program involves more than 400 students.

The Success Program provides opportunities for students who are non-TRIO eligible by offering group advising, raising awareness of academic resources and connecting with other offices on campus that can connect them with opportunities at and beyond Knox.

Though this programming is not directly related to the new student success tutors, it is all a part of the CTL’s new initiatives to help students reach their full potential.

“We want students to feel like they’re equipped with the skills and strategies and habits to be effective and efficient learners and also to be aware of the myriad of opportunities that exists beyond Knox,” Bush said.


Rachel Landman
Rachel Landman graduated in 2017, majoring in creative writing and double mimnoring in journalism and environmental studies. She was editor-in-chief of TKS her senior year and worked for TKS for a four years as a News Editor her sophomore and junior years and as a volunteer writer as a freshman. Rachel is the recipient of two first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association in 2015 for investigative reporting and news story. She also won second place awards in 2016 for news story and sports feature story. She saw her staff win general excellence for 2016. In addition to The Knox Student, her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail and Catch Magazine. She studied abroad in London during Winter and Spring Term of her junior year. Twitter: @rachellandman_

Tags:  ctl red room Student Success tutoring

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