The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Student fills void left by Tutoring Center

by James Velten

The Tutoring Center confirmed today it will hire a chemistry tutor starting Monday. That hire will offer support to students who say they are in high need of academic assistance.

For some, the lack of a chemistry tutor left them frustrated.

That’s what encouraged biology senior Erick Reynero to step in early this semester to tutor his fellow students. Reynero applied for the tutoring position, but said after weeks of delay and not hearing back, he started tutoring his classmates on his own.

Vaishangi Patel, senior biology major, said she and her sister Shivangi went for help with Reynero, the only tutor available.  

“They still don’t have tutoring,” Patel said last week. “He’s [Reynero] just in our class and he sees a lot of people struggling. And he gets chemistry, so he’s just helping everyone else.”

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have passed my test,” senior biology major Shivangi said.

“The best way to learn something is by teaching it, and Erick is definitely doing it that way,” said Bob Shelton, assistant professor of chemistry.

In addition to being a student and tutoring for free, Reynero is a part time firefighter/EMT.

“I leave my weekdays free. I’ve made ten hours available for tutoring sessions throughout the week,” Reynero said. “I definitely like tutoring students and making sure that they are understanding and comprehending everything that’s being taught. Students, I guess noticed, and asked me for help.”

Lack of tutoring

Today’s announcement that a tutor will begin on Monday should bring relief to students studying chemistry.

An electronic mailing list is available in the tutoring center for students to voice what help they need. It advertised its first opening for a chemistry tutor this semester due to increased demand.

“We know that’s a big issue right now,” Mercedes Torrez, tutoring center coordinator, said.  “It’s mostly been students coming in expressing their concerns over the difficulties they are having in their classes.”

Torrez said this is the first chemistry tutoring position they’ve offered.

“Our main struggle is finding applicants,” she continued. “We’ve had these positions posted for a few months now and finding the students here at this campus is a little bit more difficult. Our biggest struggle in staffing this position is finding the applicants who are willing to commit the time to do this.”

Reynero said he applied for the tutoring position earlier in the semester and received a response Sept. 6 from the university to set up an interview. The position was posted on Aug. 4 with an intent to fill the position by Aug. 24.

The interview for Reynero was scheduled twice during times that he had class. “This position might not be a good fit because it doesn’t seem that Mercedes has much regard for my school schedule,” Reynero stated in an email.

This past week, the UT Health Science Center notified Reynero of an internship opportunity, which he is considering taking.

“Even if it [chemistry tutoring] just starts now, I think it’ll be easy to find somebody in the future,” Reynero said. He said he is concerned about his fellow students after he graduates in the spring.

“I just really think the Chemistry students need some additional resources to help them be successful,” he added. This process has taken some time.

Although he was not hired for the tutoring position, he said he will pursue an internship opportunity. “This internship opportunity is something that I find will benefit me career wise,” he said.

Reynero said he will continue hosting weekly study sessions for the Biology students. “The weekly group study sessions will continue,” he said.

About the Author

James Velten
James Velten is a reporter at The Mesquite, and the Academic Program Coordinator and morning show DJ for KSYM San Antonio College Radio. He's the first Distinguished Graduate of the Radio, Television, Broadcasting program at SAC; class of 2012. James has done voice work and a finalist for Best Promo by College Broadcasters Inc. twice. He enjoys sitting in an editing bay working on audio projects. In the future, James wants to teach the future broadcasters of tomorrow.

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