Your Average Session: A Step-by-Step Guide to Entering the Learning Center

Entering the Learning Center for the first time can be intimidating. Fear no longer! Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to expect when you enter the Learning Center for a tutoring appointment.

Step 1: Make the appointment. You can access SUNY Plattsburgh’s tutor catalogue through Cardinal Star and book your appointments there! It isn’t necessary, but adding a description to your appointment can really help the tutor you’ve booked be prepared to make the most of your time together. I know appointment descriptions have personally helped me prepare before.

Step 2: Fill out the contract. If this is your first time getting tutored, you’ll need to fill out an online form. Being able to access tutoring is a privilege- one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To avoid unnecessary conflict, make sure you’re arriving on time to booked appointments. If you need to cancel, that’s fine! Please make sure to do so as soon as you learn that you won’t be able to attend. Your time is just as valuable as your tutor’s.

Step 3: Check-in at the front desk. The Learning Center is home to some of the kindest people on the planet Earth. You’ll need to sign in before the session starts. There will be a clipboard right at the desk for you to sign your name and put the time you’ve arrived. Afterwards, inform the Front Desk Attendant of who you are and who you’ve booked the appointment with. They’ll be happy to direct you to your tutor!

Step 4: Beginning the session. Always come prepared with assignments to work on and/or questions to ask. Writing tutors are trained to help you first and foremost with “higher order concerns”- these being: thesis statements, citations, and implementation of sources. If you have what we call “lower order concerns” such as grammar or spelling, it would be more beneficial for you to attend one of our many walk-in’s if your schedule aligns.

Step 6: Ask questions. As a tutor, I love when a tutee asks me questions about the assignment they’re working on or about something I’m suggesting. It shows that you’re engaged in what we’re talking about, and that you’re eager to learn more. Asking questions really helps your own understanding of an assignment.

Step 7: Wrapping up. When you have about 10 minutes left in your 1 hour appointment, don’t be surprised if you’re tutor begins to summarize your session. This is a great time to ask for last minute advice or to ask about future appointment availability if need be.

Step 8: Leaving the Learning Center. After you’ve said goodbye to your tutor, you’ll need to make sure to sign out at the front desk on the same paper that you signed in on. You’ll need to write the time that you’re leaving the Learning Center. After you’ve signed out, you’re good to go!

I know that going somewhere for the first time can be scary, and adding on to the fact that receiving tutoring services might not be the most comfortable thing in the world to do doesn’t help. I hope that this step-by-step guide helps ease that anxiety, and that you’re encouraged to reach out for help if you need it. The Learning Center is a great resource to take advantage of, and you can meet a lot of friendly people there along the way.

-C.M.

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