Extra support goes a long way

By Coconino Community College

The tutoring services provided at an Arizona college keep students on track for success.

Accounting class brought Rhianna Hernandez to Tutoring Services at Coconino Community College (CCC).

The first time she took an accounting class, she tried to push through the challenging subject on her own. She ended up dropping the class that first time, but she needed it for her associate degree in Business.

 “It was a different language,” Hernandez said. “But my tutor was able to explain it to me where it made sense.”

By the end of the Spring 2021 semester, Hernandez had an “A” in the class, and she said she owes much of that success to the folks in Tutoring Services at CCC. The services are available each semester, for free, to all enrolled CCC students.

 “All of us at Tutoring Services strive to help students succeed in their courses, whether a student needs one question answered or comes back daily for extra support,” said Kim Shaw, CCC’s tutoring coordinator. “Most of our tutors are students as well, so they understand the challenges of the courses they tutor.”

Tutoring Services offers tutoring in subjects like English, math and the sciences (biology, chemistry, geology and physics), as well as a host of other subjects like administration of justice, accounting, anthropology, business, economics, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and more.

Shaw said that Tutoring Services has returned to a mix of in-person drop-in tutoring and online drop-in tutoring for the summer semester.

“The tutors are excited to support CCC students do the best possible this summer,” Shaw said.

Hernandez graduated from Williams High School in 2011, and when she decided to attend college, she wanted to start out slowly. She currently works at the Nestle Purina plant in Flagstaff, and the manufacturing focus helped set her sights on a business track.

“I couldn’t see myself going to a university just yet,” she said, adding that her first goal was to get an associate degree. A member of TRIO Student Support Services program, Hernandez is the first generation in her family to attend college. Now that she’s experienced some success, she plans on attending Northern Arizona University after she completes her studies at CCC. Her goal now: a bachelor’s degree.

She uses Tutoring Services to help with accounting and math, but particularly accounting. She studied with tutor Jacob Gonzalez.

“They told me Jacob was going to be my savior, and he was,” Hernandez said, laughing, adding that Gonzalez was there to support her, not lecture her. “Everybody was there to mentally support me, too.”

 She said that after class, she would drop into Tutoring Services, and she would find herself staying until the college closed – so she could make sure she understood the concepts under study. Now a sophomore, her grades are exemplary, and she is a member of the CCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She also is a member of the Associated Latino American Students (ALAS) Club at CCC.

 Of the experience, Hernandez said, “It was great. They made such a great environment.”

 And she highly recommends the program for all CCC students who may find a particular subject challenging.

 “I would say, ‘Take advantage of the tutoring program,’” Hernandez said. “If they haven’t yet, they are definitely missing out.”

She’s found her stride in education, and although a bachelor’s degree is the current goal, a master’s degree isn’t out of the question.

“I may as well,” she said. “You learn a lot along the way.”

 This story originally appeared here.

Coconino Community College

is located in Flagstaff, Arizona.