The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Navigating Through the Learning Commons


Signs on campus promoting academic support at the Learning Commons  

If you have not had a chance to stop by and visit the study area inside the Learning Commons, they are located on the second floor of the Vasché Library. This resource is here to answer any questions and provide academic support options to facilitate college success.  

Whatever your academic goals are, Learning Commons provides tutoring servicessupplemental instruction, a writing center, and newly added “embedded” tutoring to help boost performance and personal growth.  

“There’s been a lot of changes… We’ve expanded with different models of tutoring,” says James Barnes Director of Learning Commons, who explains, “Embedded tutoring is where the tutor goes to the class to participate and brings information to tutoring lessons and builds relationships with students.” 

“The idea behind this new model is to reduce the number of barriers to accessing services with walk-in hours,” says Barnes who adds, “The tutors go specifically to class to focus on learning support.”  

There are many flexible support options to suit your needs with appointments available online through Stan Tutor, including evenings, and weekends available at the Writing Center. This system is the best way to make appointments, explore your options, and find out what courses are available for tutoring. 

Supplemental Instruction (SI) does not require an appointment, but tutoring appointments are available on Stan Tutor, explains Barnes, who mentions, “It does not even require you to type in your classes, as they auto-populate once you sign in, simplifying the process.”

Barnes highlights, “What we know about our students is once they come and see us 95% say that they gained academic skills that are going to help them in their class, and 96% said they gained confidence in their ability to succeed.” 

Telayna Sengsoury (senior, Psychology) Supplemental Instructor (SI) Mentor says, “The SI program is a national program for students who are in classes with a high DFW rate (drop, fail, withdrawal) so our program helps those students.”

“Tutoring provides the tools to help guide students to the answers, and the same thing with the writing center, helping them build those skills on their own to succeed and meet their goals,” explains Sengsoury.  

Lexi Anderson (senior, Biology) SI Leader explained her role saying, “I actually go into classrooms, I sit in, relearn the content, and then go outside and create really fun interactive activities for the sessions.”  

Anderson explains they help students take those skills beyond classes and sessions, so they can apply them in other areas. It allows the students to further explore their independence and capabilities; part of the job is not giving them the answers but guiding them to the right answer.

“Tutoring is focused on student questions and goals whereas SI leaders plan a curriculum for that session,” explains Barnes, and says, “those are the contrasting models of support.”  

Joy Ok (graduate student, RTW) and Writing Center TA says, “I really love to get to know who the student is because behind the student is a person, and of course, I really want to help them develop as a writer, that’s really important to me and to help them succeed.” 

“We are tutors, but we also become friends, and a lot of our students that come in also become our friends… this is a place for everyone,” states Ok. 

Barnes elaborates, “Our services are driven by students, students helping students, so we have to have great students to be able to provide those services.” 

If you are interested in academic support or becoming a tutor call (209) 667-3642, email [email protected], or on Instagram. The Learning Commons is located on the second floor of the Vasché Library, L222 where you can walk in for an appointment. Suggestions contact Learning Commons Director James Barnes at [email protected]. 

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Navigating Through the Learning Commons