By Grace Berry
When students do not live on campus, it is difficult for them to receive the academic resources they may need. While a student who resides in a dorm can simply go to the Academic Success Center anytime they please, commuter students have to find time in their hectic schedules to make an appointment.
However, this is all about to change. The Academic Success Center is implementing a new program to allow long distance learners to receive the assistance they need.
Brian Hyer, the Academic Success Coordinator, is allowing commuter students to have a tutor by using Google Hangouts. This program allows students who live off campus to have that face to face interaction with a tutor, while still being able to collaborate on a Google Doc.
“I created this to help the non traditional students, especially those in the masters of social work program. A lot of those students not only are part of the commuting, but they have other responsibilities like work and family, so it’s not easy for them to get to this part of campus,” explained Hyer.
In the past, the Academic Success Center had a program like this designated for long distance learners, but it was very sparsely used. Many commuter students did not like the use of the Skype platform implemented before because it was faulty, there was no easy way to communicate on a document, and not everyone was able to download the app.
Today, every Springfield College student has access to Google Hangouts through their school email accounts. With Hangouts, the tutor is able to have a one on one conversation with the student, while still being able to make edits to a paper through Google Docs.
As for right now, this service is only applicable for writing and reading assignments. However, the only requirements for this resource is to be a commuter student, have a working internet connection, and to have a laptop or tablet with a microphone and camera.
First year student, and frequent visitor at the Academic Success Center, Jen Brown, believes that this will be a very beneficial program for commuter students.
“Sometimes when I am in the Academic Success Center, I see commuters trying to schedule appointments, but never can really find a time that works for them. I believe this will be a great tool for those students to use instead of going back and forth from campus all day.”
Hyer is very adamant that commuter students use this program, as it was designed to specifically assist them in their academic needs. The process to make an appointment is fairly easy, as well.
“Unlike on campus appointments, we do not use TutorTrac for online appointments. To make a Hangout appointment, you will need to call the Academic Success Center.”
To reach the Academic Success Center to schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to call (413) 748-3389.