Story by Julio Manzo
It’s the week before finals. You feel a familiar tingling of panic as you realize that you are not prepared for your math final.
As your eyes begin to cross from staring at the same problem for the last hour, you ask yourself, “Who thought it was a good idea to put letters in math? I need help.”
But who can help? Answer: The Tutoring & Academic Support Center at Victor Valley College.
In December, the Center hosted the Stress Less Study-A-Thon in conjunction with VVC’s Math and English departments. The event was designed to assist students in comprehending subjects that have plagued them all semester.
“The whole purpose is to make sure the students are well-prepared when they walk into their final,” said Anh Weis, VVC math instructor and head of the Math Success Center.
The event gathered tutors for math, english, psychology, biology, chemistry and political science from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to give students a chance to learn subjects in a more personal setting.
Desiree Thomas, a student at VVC, said the one-on-one approach has helped her tremendously. “Someone stops for a second and sits down with us and they break it down, then we can help each other from there,” Thomas said.
Willa Vault, Desiree’s study partner who she met in the Math Center said she would have dropped her class if it hadn’t been for the help she received in the Center.
“If there’s a concept I don’t understand, I have to go to the math center,” Vault said.
Both Thomas and Vault said that Fall 2019 was their last semester of math. Desiree hopes to be an ultrasound technician and to major in psychology, while Vault wants to major in nursing.
This is Weis’ third year coordinating the Study-A-Thon and she has big plans for the Math Success Center. Over the past three years the Math Success Center’s utilization has risen 30%, with more than 11,000 sign-ins and 17,000 hours spent in it by students.
Weis is constantly looking for new ways to improve the student experience. For example, she noticed that many students taking Math 85 do not know how to use their calculator, so next semester she is planning to hold a workshop that shows students how to use their calculator for basic math and statistics.
Her mission in the Math Success Center is to make sure the students feel comfortable so they can build a support network.
“Give them the support but at the same time let them work together,” she said. “Because when they’re willing to work together that knowledge expands bigger than anything you can imagine.”
Visit vvc.edu/tutoring-services/ to learn more about the tutoring and academic support services available to VVC students.