Several students who are graduating from Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Sunday have special skills that enhance the degrees they will receive. By serving as tutors in their areas of expertise, they have not only been able to help other students, but they have also applied their studies in “real world” situations.
Denise Lindsley, Director of Learning and Testing Services said she’s proud of the students and excited to see where their experiences at Kalamazoo Valley take them next. “We’re all incredibly proud of these students,” Lindsley said. “We know they have a great future ahead them and we know graduating from Kalamazoo Valley opens doors.”
Laura Cosby, Director of Student Success agreed. "We take pride in the success of our student tutors as they exemplify the caliber of instruction Kalamazoo Valley provides. Peer tutoring has made a significant impact in helping fellow students become independent learners. As our data show, we are assured those who are transferring will be completely prepared for success at their 4-year institution.”
Lindsley said she’s also pleased that most of the student tutors will continue to work for Kalamazoo Valley after graduation. “They set a great example for the students who come in to the Learning Center for tutoring. They’re wonderful role models,” she said. Students who are hired to tutor must earn an A in the class for which they become tutors. In addition, all tutors all complete training through the College Reading and Learning Association.
Lizbeth Fuentes is serving as a math tutor. She is graduating from Kalamazoo Valley with an Associate of Applied Science degree and is transferring to Western Michigan University to study Civil Engineering.
Jacob Zuiderveen is graduating with an Associate of Arts degree. He is a writing tutor who will transfer to the University of Michigan. “At U of M, I am planning on majoring in Political Economy, and I may try to complete a double major with philosophy,” he said.
Houston, TX, native J.R. Avera calls his tutoring experience in Economics and Accounting a “win/win” situation. “When other students have problems and I can help them figure it out, I also gain a fuller understanding of the concept,” he said. “It is a great experience for anyone to approach problems in different ways. It gave me a lot of extra study time,” says Avera, who plans to transfer to Western Michigan University to study business.
“My general experience with tutoring has been great,” said Justin Thompson, a French tutor who is earning an Associate’s in Liberal Arts. “The best part for me is the point where students grasp a concept that has been troubling them for a while. I think this is true about a lot of the tutors here though. Working alongside other tutors in the learning center has been a pleasure as well.” Thompson plans to transfer to Western Michigan University and study Linguistics.
Kalamazoo Valley’s commencement ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 in Read Fieldhouse at Western Michigan University. More than 900 students are expected to participate.