Learning Center student tutors provide supplemental instruction for over 600 courses taught at Fresno State


Diego Vargas/The Collegian

The Learning Center is located in the lower level of the Library and offers spaces for students to study and collaborate on work.

By Diego Vargas, Lifestyle Editor

For students looking to study for their exams or gain new tools to strengthen their academic skills, the Learning Center is an essential resource and the primary place on campus to receive help with classes.

“The Fresno State Learning Center is a safe space where students can come to share their vulnerabilities and receive academic support and social support. We help students navigate through the Fresno State experience,” said Ruby Sangha-Rico, director of the Learning Center.

The Learning Center offers three services to students: tutoring, supplemental instruction and academic success coaching.

Tutoring services cover nearly 600 courses that Fresno State offers. Students can drop in or create appointments through the Learning Center’s website to receive tutoring.

Supplemental Instruction offers more specialized tutoring for classes, employing students who have already completed the course to facilitate the growth of students who are currently enrolled. This embedded form of tutoring offers students the opportunity to receive help from a tutor already familiar with the course material.

“SI is great for when students are taking a class that is offering the service, since the leader for that class sits in the lectures and knows exactly what the professor is covering, as well as what the professor wants students to focus on,” said Brittney Garcia, a mentor for the Supplemental Instruction department.

“Leaders are in direct contact with their professors and are a valuable resource to students. SI can help with specific topics, homework from the course, reviewing past material that the professor has moved on from or material from sessions that the student missed,” she added.

Academic success coaching is all about teaching students skills to improve their academic career. Students can receive advice from academic coaches on time management, how to navigate the college experience and more.

“Academic success coaching provides academic support tailored to students’ needs so they can reach their fullest potential at Fresno State. Within the office we use a holistic approach to coach students in navigating the college experience in a one-on-one setting and work with a variety of topics such as motivation, study skills, time management, etc…,” said Fernando Garcia, an academic coach who completed his first year in the Student Affairs and College Counseling Masters Program this past spring semester.

Apart from offering students these three services, the Learning Center also offers students the opportunity to work and get paid to help other students as tutors, supplemental instruction leaders or academic coaches. This semester, there were around 150 student workers with the Learning Center, according to Director Sangha-Rico.

Sangha-Rico also explains that the benefit of employing student workers is that it makes it easier for students to approach the Learning Center for help.

“What’s really exciting is that many of our tutors and SI leaders and academic coaches [is that] they were once users of our department, so they were in those shoes and they found so much success; they connected so well to our services, this is now their way of giving back,” she said.

Ashley Gutierrez, an academic coach who has been a part of academic success oaching for four semesters, encouraged students to take advantage of the resources available in the Learning Center.

“I would let students know that it is OK to feel a certain hesitation to tutoring services, but to not be afraid to try it out one time! The cool thing about tutoring services is that students have the option to come whenever they want and go at their own pace, so as long as they try it once then that is more than enough!” she said.