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The next few weeks are very emotional for students of USF. There’s the excitement of our impending summer break, which is accompanied by the awe of actually seeing and feeling the sun. And then, of course, there’s summer. But before we can cross the bridge into freedom, we have one last hurdle to jump over — finals.

The key to making them more bearable is to prepare in advance and to know which classes and finals you’re going to need the most help with. The Learning and Writing Center (Cowell 215) exists to help you achieve this goal and offers many opportunities for you to improve your education.

Currently, there are six ways for you to do so: Peer Tutoring, the Writing Center, Tutorpalooza, Supplemental Instruction, Peer-Led Team Learning, and Coaching.

Peer Tutoring:  Individual, peer tutoring in about ninety different courses is available to students for free. You can have up to four hours of tutoring, per subject, a week. (But keep in mind that you can only have one hour of tutoring per day.) To make an appointment, you can go to tutortrac.usfca.edu or call 415-422-6713. If you need tutoring appointments for finals help, I suggest that you make that appointment ASAP, because slots are filling up!

Writing Center: Do you have a paper that needs fine tuning? Or maybe you just want a second pair of eyes to read over that term paper? The Writing Center is fully staffed by adjunct faculty who can spend 30 minute increments reading your paper and helping you work on a specific issue that you may have in that paper. Their goal is to help you develop as a writer beyond that one paper. As the meetings are only 30 minutes long, you may not get through the entire paper with your writing preceptor, as they’re called, but you are encouraged to come back after you’ve made revisions. To set up an appointment, you can come into the Learning and Writing Center in Cowell 215, or you can call 415-422-6713.

Tutorpalooza: Come to Cowell 418 & 417 from 12pm to 6pm on Study Day (May 10th) for this LWC sponsored drop-in event. Tutopalooza marks the last day to receive tutoring before finals. Tutors from all disciplines will be available, and you don’t need an appointment to participate. Feel free to come and go as you please. Cookies and coffee will also be provided.

Supplemental Instruction: Two study sessions a week with a Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader to review course materials and learn new study techniques. The SI leader has taken the same class previously and attends class again to stay current on material. SI targets historically difficult courses. If your class has supplemental instruction, the professor or SI leader will let the class know in the beginning of the semester. Also, keep in mind that supplemental instruction is completely voluntary and the SI leader will not discuss individual students with faculty or students.

Peer-Led Team Learning: Meet weekly with classmates and peer leader. Small groups of 6-8 students work on problem solving skills and discuss course concepts by working on faculty selected practice problems. Like SI leaders and tutors, PLTL leaders are students who have taken the course previously. Currently, this is only available for General Chemistry.

Coaching: You can set up a meeting with one of the two directors of the Learning Center, Kim Rutledge (kdrutledge@usfca.edu) or Kim Harris (kcharris@usfca.edu), by emailing them. They can help you with your organization and scheduling skills. As a student, you can come talk to them if you want to have someone help you with your study methods. If you come in at the beginning of the semester with your syllabi, you can have one of the directors look at the syllabi with you to figure out exactly what you’re going to have to focus the most on and where to set your priorities for the upcoming semester.

Good luck! And don’t forget to prepare!

Students in Gleeson Library

Students in Gleeson Library

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