In an effort to support the nearly 80 tutors on campus and the academic aid they supply, Utah Valley University is celebrating National Tutoring Week, Oct. 6-10.

“Our objective is to honor our tutors for the service they provide to University College and to the University,” said Maureen S. Andrade, associate dean of University College. “We also want to highlight the special talents, skills, and backgrounds of our tutors.”

The academic tutors, trained through a nationally certified program, provide help to one third of the university’s student population. With a variety of training resources on campus, tutor coverage ranges from math and writing to learning strategies and peer tutoring. According to the National Association for Developmental Educations, a tutor’s main drive is to “help under-prepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel.”

“It is often noted that learning does not take place in a vacuum,” said Shannon Israelsen, director of Writing Scholars and former tutor. “The value of the tutoring centers and labs is that they are centered around the idea of communal learning, of students helping students.”

Tutoring does more than help the students; it also positively affects retention at UVU. This, according to Kathy Van Wagoner, math lab manager, is a major goal of the institution. Academic studies show that students who work with trained tutors have higher GPAs and stay enrolled in college at higher rates.

“We tracked the grades of students who use the Math Lab an average of once a week and the pass rates of that group of students are 20 percent higher than the department average pass rates,” explained Van Wagoner. “We often hear students say things like, ‘I would have never gotten through that class if it weren’t for the tutors.'”

UVU plans to honor their tutors through food, gifts provided by local sponsors and letters of gratitude from the many students the tutors have helped.