The Stigma Holding You Back


Going to a tutor might not be your first thought when you’re assigned a big project or can’t find the time to do your homework. The mindset is that you only go to tutoring if you really need it or you’re a bad student. This could be due to the fact that tutoring in high school is uncommon, or the way media has portrayed tutoring in TV shows and movies as being for students who are “dumb”.

“There is definitely a stigma,” said Nicole Sylvester, a tutor at the Danforth Library.

Parents and peers can see tutoring as a sign of being inadequate or stupid. Maybe you think you don’t need it because you’re smart and get good grades. We have that bit of pride in us saying “I don’t need help.” Not to mention, we got through high school just fine so why would we need help now?

“I overheard a conversation ‘Well why don’t you visit the tutoring center, they’ll be able to help you with your time management, things like that.’ I think it was a parent actually and they said, ‘my kid doesn’t need tutoring, they’re not stupid,” said Sylvester.

We’ve all experienced some of the stigma against tutoring, the uncomfortable feeling that you’ll be judged or thought less of if you need help with your studies. Despite what you may think, tutoring is almost as vital as attending class. Sylvester and the tutoring center suggest that for each credit hour you take you should study for an hour and a half to two hours.

“You’re looking at 20 to 30 hours a week to keep up and do well, that’s a full-time job.”

If you’re working or playing a sport it can be hard to find that much time to study. Going to see a tutor can help you keep up and be held accountable. The tutoring center also offers accommodation testing, tutoring for students with English as their second language, academic workshops, and Ted Talks. Still, students don’t seem to be utilizing the resources at their disposal.

A study done by Valley College in San Bernardino, California reported that when faculty referred students to tutoring 80 percent of the time, 76 percent of students didn’t utilize tutoring services. However, students who received tutoring had a 15 percent higher success rate than students who didn’t. Sylvester said that though they’ve had a good number of students come through the tutoring center this semester, they would love to see more.

“I would love a much busier schedule,” said Sylvester.

NEC and the Tutoring Center do their best to make it easy for students to get tutoring if they need it. Students can drop in or make an appointment either through the Navigate app or at the center and tutors are available every day except for Saturday. If you need help studying for a test, someone to hold you accountable, or just someone to cheer you on and give you some tips, the Tutoring Center has your back.

“Whatever you throw at us, we’ll do.”

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