Even a superhero needs a sidekick to help save the day once in a while, which is why peer tutoring is a perfect resource for Methodist University students.
That is the general idea of the university’s newly branded tutoring and consulting initiative called Power of Peers, which provides students with academic support from a fellow, qualified student either on campus at the Writing and Tutoring Center at Davis Memorial Library or online.
“We want to normalize asking for help,” said Rebecca King, director of academic support at Methodist. “Sometimes, it can be intimidating to work with a professional, but if you see that someone you play basketball with is a tutor or consultant, you may feel more at ease. Power of Peers is all about asking for help from someone who understands the struggle you may be going through.”
The process is simple for Power of Peers, too. Students can access an online portal that allows them to select an appointment based on day, time, and even the peer tutor or consultant they would like to work with. All peer tutors and writing consultants have a strong academic standing and are recommended by faculty members.
Peer tutors and consultants are able to help in a wide range of subjects including pre-calculus, biology, writing, engineering, Spanish, and more than a dozen others.
Senior Kamdyn Balko, who has been a peer writing consultant since 2021, said she found a purpose at the Writing & Tutoring Center.
“I used to be intimidated by writing assignments, particularly ones I didn’t understand,” said Balko, an elementary education and special education major with a minor in professional tennis management. “I want my peers to feel comfortable asking for help with their writing while offering my knowledge for their future writing assignments.”
For senior Collette LeFavor, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing this May, the Writing and Tutoring Center has made a big difference in her academic journey.
“I’ve been using it since my freshman year. Every appointment since then has been a tremendous help to me,” she said. “They not only tell you how to improve your work, but they tell you why the changes are needed to improve it.”
While Power of Peers is a useful resource for many students, others may feel the need for assistance from a professional. Available to all students, staff and faculty, professional consultants can walk someone through various writing projects, from academic or creative to professional or personal.
King pointed to several success stories during her time at Methodist, including the story of a recent graduate.
“We recently had a student-athlete who was struggling academically as a freshman, and we were concerned whether he’d graduate,” she said. “But fortunately, this student showed up to the Writing & Tutoring Center and made appointments. He would work with one of our consultants on study skills and then he would work with someone else on an essay for class. He came consistently for four years and was able to graduate this past May.”
Brad Johnson is director of marketing and communications at Methodist University.