Ralph Brown Draughon Library is a landmark on the Auburn University campus and a place for students to cram for their latest test or project. While the library has many useful sources to help students academically, something not so typical is the Study Partners tutoring program.
Study Partners is a free tutoring service that provides students with student tutors. Those interested in getting tutored can make an appointment online, over the phone, or in person. Study Partners is located in the second floor of the library in the learning commons.
The focus of Study Partners is on core classes, however, they can have tutors in 50-100 subjects, depending on the semester. The classes with the highest demand for tutors are math up to calculus 3, differential equations, physics, chemistry and economics, according to Study Partners Coordinator Tamara Bowden.
While Study Partners is a free service, if a student misses an appointment and fails to cancel it, they will be charged a $10 no-show fee. According to Bowden, there were 500 no shows in the fall of 2014. There is an appeal process for those that have been charged.
Appointments for the most popular subjects fill up, but walk-in appointments can happen if the person scheduled at that time does not come.
There are currently 105 students employed by Study Partners. Those interested in becoming tutors must have an A or B in the class they wish to tutor, two letters of recommendation, preferably by Auburn staff and must attend a mock tutoring session and interview.
Bowden said that it is important for potential Study Partners employees to not only have academic skills but customer service skills as well.
The program does not have a specific hiring period but hires most people at the end of one semester for the next. The minimum number of hours a student can work is three per week and the maximum is 15 per week.
"What a lot of people don’t know about Study Partners is that it is very student driven,” said Training Supervisor Phylesia Hill.
Hill currently helps plan the tutoring sessions for the employees, but in the past she has been a tutor, lead tutor, and tutor supervisor. She is currently a senior and got involved in the program when she was a sophomore.
The program has nearly doubled the amount of tutors that they had four years ago. Hill said that the growth in tutors may be because of the leadership roles accessible to students through the program.
The job of a tutor can be very rewarding. Hill said her favorite part of the job is “when you see the light turn on in the client’s head” when they understand something.