GGC tutoring services honored with state award

Student with tutor on campus

As Georgia Gwinnett College begins its spring semester, it celebrates a system-wide award from the University System of Georgia for its tutoring services.

The GGC Academic Enhancement Center's (AEC)’s TIC-TAC-TOE program won a Chancellor’s Service Excellence Student Improvement Initiative Team Award – Silver Level. This system-wide commendation recognizes the tutoring team's “ability to adopt continuous-improvement methodology that emphasized student and/or employee satisfaction as well as quality of service.” 

“The efforts of the GGC team were cited for resulting in improved satisfaction and student retention,” said Dr. T.J. Arant, senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost. “This is very meaningful to us since this college was designed specifically to ensure that students are able to find paths to success. We are proud that our tutoring team received this distinguished recognition for their important work with our students. In fact, more than 30 percent of all students use the AEC’s tutoring services at least once during their college career.”

The AEC provides about 18,000 tutoring sessions each academic year. In addition to serving students in the AEC itself, the center’s TIC-TAC-TOE program offer three types of tutoring service designed to be increase accessibility for all students. 

TIC is the AEC’s Tutors in the Classroom program, which provides in-class tutoring support to complement classroom instruction in specific classes, such as GGC’s Student Success courses.

“GGC’s attentive teaching model ensures that our students get more personal interaction with our faculty,” said Dr. Justin Jernigan, dean of the School of Transitional Studies, which includes the AEC. “Even though our average class size is only 21, faculty members may find that in some specific courses, a tutor in the classroom can extend their ability to address individual students’ needs, particularly if students are doing exercises during class and may encounter questions or problems. Our TIC tutor lends a hand to ensure that students receive the assistance they need.”

The specific classes providing TIC tutors serve about 300 students each year. 

TAC is the Tutors Around Campus program, a unique service that provides tutoring services in gathering spaces and common areas throughout campus.

“Many of our students may not have the time to come by the Academic Enhancement Center or must spend much of their time on the other side of campus,” said Jernigan. “Some do not feel comfortable going to a center to ask for help. We get around these barriers by placing tutors in strategic locations around campus where students can conveniently approach them in a casual setting.”

TAC tutors make themselves at home in campus locations such as the residence halls, dining hall, study areas, in the library or even out on the lawn. They set up a table sign announcing their area of expertise and then wait for students to stop by for help. They usually do not wait long. TAC tutors provide about 150 sessions per semester.

Students needing help after hours or from home can access online resources provided through TOE, or Tutoring Online Everywhere. In the most recent academic year more than 430 students used the online service.

“The TIC-TAC-TOE program significantly extends the AEC’s reach beyond the walls of the center,” Jernigan said. “The program is distinctive to GGC and fits perfectly with the college’s focus on active student engagement and holistic student success.”

The AEC employs 30 full- and part-time tutors, 10 peer tutors, 12 student assistants and 55 faculty volunteer tutors. To serve the GGC population of 12,000 students, the AEC is open 63 hours per week.

In addition to tutoring, the AEC provides about 50 interactive workshops a semester, reaching almost 400 students with a broad range of topics. The center also provides topic-specific in-class workshops when requested by faculty.

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