Students collaborate during one on one calculus tutoring in the Sanger Learning Center inside Jester on Tuesday afternoon. The Sanger Learning Center provides five free tutoring sessions for students each semester.
Despite Student Government’s support for upper-division tutoring and MCAT study sessions, Sanger Learning Center officials still maintain their primary focus on lower-division course help.
After Public Health senior Junho Ahn proposed last month that the center offer MCAT study sessions, Sanger will host their first ever MCAT session on Thursday. Likewise, the center will begin offering upper-division tutoring on a trial basis this semester. SG passed legislation in support of upper-division tutoring and test prep courses from the center, and while the center will offer such programs this semester, their future at Sanger is not secure.
Ahn said this class is a trial and that Edward Fernandez, the interim director and program coordinator for Sanger, is hesitant to commit to anything permanent.
“Right now we’re exploring this,” Fernandez said. “I view this more as responding to a small group tutoring request.”
Ahn said the key point of the study session will not be about teaching material on the exam, but about refreshing students’ minds and going over certain subjects that could show up on the test.
“I wanted to do something to help post-graduate students,” Ahn said. “So I invested a lot of time into [my proposal] and going into it I felt pretty confident. I received a lot of support from other representatives.”
Victoria Petruzzi, public health sophomore and member of SG, sponsored Ahn’s legislation.
“MCAT prep courses are expensive and time-consuming and if the Sanger Learning Center were to provide a sort of study group supplement, this could help students who especially want more personal, one-on-one tutoring in MCAT core subjects,” Petruzzi said. “With this trial, Sanger will be able to determine whether a program like this would be successful or not and therefore I believed this idea could potentially provide a great resource to all pre-med students at UT.”
Fernandez said the learning center’s mission is to academically support all students with the various services they provide.
“We are trying to empower students in regard to their learning skills as well as to assist them in the content in the courses they are taking,” Fernandez said. “There are many students who take advantage of the tutoring and the other services we provide.”