I believe that more, if not all, college classes at Pierce should be accompanied by a dedicated and experienced student tutor.
Since the majority of the student body at a community college shares a common goal of ultimately transferring to a four year university, the general education classes we tend to sign up for come from a list of requirements which everyone has to complete, regardless of their major (e.g. the IGETC). Sometimes the requirement has absolutely nothing to do with what you plan on doing in life. Personally, when I graduated from high school I thought that I was finished with math for good. Little did I know that, even as a communications major, I would still need to take a statistics class to fulfill a general education requirement.
Math tends to send me into a panicked frenzy no matter what form it comes in; anyone who has ever witnessed me trying to split a bill at a restaurant can attest to that fact. Needless to say, I was far from thrilled with the statistics class looming before me. Luckily, I learned that the class would be accompanied by a student tutor. The tutor was also studying at Pierce and she happened to excel in the subject. Throughout the semester, she sat through almost every lecture with us and, because she was literally in the class with us, she knew exactly what we had learned each week and which teaching methods we were taught with. The tutor planned sessions where we could sit with her, free of charge, and ask as many questions as we wanted. She would walk us through the material step by step until we understood it.
Having a student tutor accompany a class you’re nervous about taking is extremely comforting. Students taking the class don’t have to go to every scheduled tutoring session. In fact, they don’t have to go to any sessions; there’s no obligation to use the tutor as a resource, but who wouldn’t feel better knowing that, should they need it, they have that option available to them?
The example I gave earlier was of a required course. I needed to take statistics, but not all classes students struggle with are requirements. Building your schedule each semester is a long, and often tricky, process. There are infinite details to consider and sometimes, even after careful investigation, you have no idea what kind of a workload you’ve gotten yourself into until you’re already settled into the class. Sure, astronomy may have seemed like an interesting class to get some credits for until you realized just how much content there is to sift through, and it’s not all that easy.
Having a guaranteed tutor available to help students in every class would embolden people to be more adventurous in the courses they choose to attend. If it’s something that genuinely interests me, and I know that I have someone to turn to if the material proves to be difficult, the safety net of a dedicated accompanying student tutor would absolutely encourage me to stick through the challenge and go for it anyway.