Students Helping Students Succeed

Wesleyan College is committed to women’s education and to helping each student find her own unique voice and purpose. Often that voice or purpose is found by helping others. Through participating in a variety of programs on campus overseen by the Academic Resource Center (ARC), including ARC mentors and tutors, the new biology T3 sessions, major ambassadors, and the Center for Career Development’s career peer mentors, Wesleyan students are helping one another succeed. 

According to Latasha Andre, academic resource center director, “By focusing on peer-led initiatives like the tutoring and major ambassadors programs, we strengthen academic mentorship and give students something to aspire to. The Academic Resource Center has had tremendous success with both, and we’ve seen an increase in participation and a great enthusiasm for collaboration.” 

The ARC provides free academic counseling and tutoring for students who seek to improve understanding of course content and academic success skills. Peer tutors are prepared to assist students by using academic success strategies such as reviewing class materials, discussing past tests, working on sample problems, and preparing for exams. Biology’s new T3 sessions are meant to support the large first-year population of biology students. Upper-level students with a strong understanding of the material facilitate tutoring sessions for introductory biology students to provide a more peer-friendly learning environment. 

Biology Professor Dr. Holly Boettger-Tong said, “During fall semester, T3 sessions were held during the day, in the evening, and on Saturdays to support both residential and commuter students. This initiative served approximately 70 students enrolled in three sections of BIO 110. Students reported that these sessions helped them to better understand the material and also assisted in improving their study habits.”

Anna Marmolejo Rios ‘20, neuroscience and psychology double major and T3 tutor, said, “Sometimes, it helps to discuss complex subjects like biology with someone in addition to the professors. Talking through concepts also helps them stick.” 

Biology and economics double major Ugochi Emerole ‘19 added, “Studies show that you learn better when you teach someone. By teaching other students, I am able to better retain information I learned the previous year.” 

Through ARC, students can meet with a major ambassador. The Major Ambassador program, new this fall, consists of Wesleyan students who have excelled academically and are involved in campus and community activities. Nominated by faculty to represent a specific major, major ambassadors are responsible for meeting with first-year students who are considering a major, supporting outreach and major declaration initiatives, and providing strong student support at events such as “Declaration Day,” major-specific events, convocations, and other recognition ceremonies.

Another way students are supporting one another’s success is through the Center for Career Development’s Career Peer Mentor (CPM) program. Career peer mentors are upper-level students specially trained to review students’ resumes and cover letters. By advising and educating students and providing project and programming assistance, the mentors serve as a vital link between students and career development staff. 

“I have loved my experience as a CPM because not only have I been able to work with other students on their career development, but I have grown exponentially in my own development,” said Laura Harness ‘19.

This article was highlighted in the WESmag Winter 2018 issue.

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