Center for Academic Success offers aid to Pierce students

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) is working on implementing a program called Peer Assisted Learning, which is aimed to facilitate academic aid to students beyond a tutoring session.

Crystal Kiekel, director of the CAS, wants to develop a community where students help each other gain a better comprehension of subjects they may be struggling with and to extend that community across the campus and beyond the tutoring center.

“We don’t want the students to come to the tutoring center just to come to the professor when they need help,” Kiekel said. “The role of the faculty really is there to empower and to inform the students so the students can help each other.”

The goal is also to get students who may be looking into receiving an internship at the CAS and getting experience that can be put on college applications.

“In order to incentivize volunteers, you need to come up with something that the students want,” Kiekel said. “We have a comprehensive training program and we have letters of recommendation that we write. A lot of our interns want to be professors themselves someday or they want experience in public speaking because they want to be lawyers.”

A new addition to the center is Allison MacLeod, an adjunct English professor.

“I  have been working with CAS starting this spring and getting more involved everyday,” MacLeod said. “I think it came about from seeing how well students do helping each other and how productive that’s been.”

Also representing the CAS was Edouard Tchertchian, an instructor in the math department

“I’ve found it beneficial in my own classes because I teach math and math is a very popular subject when it comes to tutoring and group study,” Tchertchian said.

Math seems to be the most requested subject for assistance at the CAS.

“Math is considered to be the number one roadblock to student success nationally,” Kiekel said. “The vast majority of students are testing into developmental math, which means they are testing below transfer level mathematics.”

CAS is hoping to enlist the help of students to recognize the value that they have to each other.

“The faculty needs to be out there. They need to be pushing it with counselors and other students need to be talking about it too,” Kiekel said. “We want so many students in there that we can’t fit them.”

The CAS is open to students  between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.