‘Your Education’ still priority for Kays and Kennedy

Will Radenberg, junior in chemical engineering and Chem II tutor with SAS, goes over a Chem II assignment with Natalie Timmons, freshman in animal science, pre-vet, February 5, 2015, in Fiedler Library in the Engineering Complex. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

When Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, and Cody Kennedy, senior in education, ran for student body president and vice-president, one of their platforms was “Your Education.” More specifically, the platform focused on how the Student Governing Association could improve tutoring at K-State.

First on the chopping block after their election was helping to re-organize how tutoring is funded. Creating a more stable financial situation was something Kays and Kennedy decided was essential. While the tutoring center receives quite a few dollars from various sources, it’s a far from perfect system.

“Funding from tutoring comes from a few different pots of money,” Kennedy said. “The provost office gives money to tutoring, as does the Education Opportunity Fund and Student Centered Tuition Enhancements committee.”

The problem with the current system is that fund and enhancements committee are re-evaluated each year for funding. This means that funding could essentially be cut from tutoring at any given moment.

The $80,000 that tutoring was currently receiving from the enhancements committee was moved to the central administration office budget and the provost’s office pledged that it would always give $60,000 to tutoring each year. This put a consistent guaranteed $140,000 in the tutoring center each year.

“While funding was left with (Education Opportunity Fund), tutoring is seen as a very important part of student life here and I’m confident that it won’t be cut anytime soon,” Kennedy said.

Next on their list was starting online tutoring. Kays said he and Kennedy believed that online was the place to go for tutoring. Starting out in small steps, online tutoring will be available this semester for accounting classes and will gradually grow as the system learns to work with the new method.

“I think that’s beneficial because you don’t have to actually be in a classroom, possibly having to run all the way across campus,” Lizzie Penton, sophomore in communication studies and disorders and tutor, said. “It’s also a lot fast for people. Compared to walk-in tutoring where there may be a large group, you can get one-on-one help immediately.”

The new program, Zoom Pro, allows students to write problems on-screen and interact with and see their tutor face-to-face. While the tutoring center has had to hire a few extra tutors to make it work, being more accessible to students is the priority.

“Tutoring definitely helped me with weekly lessons and quizzes, but sometimes it was hard to understand and communicate with my tutor,” said Jordan Stuckey, sophomore in social work who received tutoring in microeconomics. “I feel like online tutoring would be more accessible for people that have busy schedules and have a harder time fitting tutoring into their schedule.”

Last on the Kays and Kennedy’s list of needs for the academic resource center was a more centered space for tutoring. Unfortunately, space is out of the wheelhouse for what SGA can do.

“Some things we may have to pass on, because there’s just not enough time,” Kays said. “But we want to make sure we get the ground work set.”