Campus Partnership Leads to Expanded Math Lab

Math students are getting some extra help with their homework this semester thanks to added hours and another location for Math Tutoring Lab.

Previously restricted to the BSS 302 location and weekday-only hours, the lab has added weekend and evening hours, as well as a more central Library location. In addition, the lab now has 23 tutors, including three faculty members.

The recent expansion is due largely to the efforts of Stuart Moskowitz, director of the lab. Additionally, the campus Math and Science Teachers Initiative (MSTI) program, which is designed to motivate math and science majors to become teachers, also played a large role.

When Moskowitz became the lab director three semesters ago, expanding resources and access became his first priority.

“I immediately started asking around for funding,” he says. “I made sure we were on the agenda.”

After meeting with HSU President Rollin Richmond, the lab was granted a one-time $4,600 fund to accomplish its expansion goals. The MSTI program also donated $7,500 to provide money for tutors – funding that is likely to continue semester to semester.

“This is our first semester doing it, but we look forward to continuing our involvement,” says Dale Oliver, director of the campus MSTI program and Associate Dean of the HSU College of Natural Resources and Science.

The program also encourages math and science students to sign up for Math 481, a one-unit tutoring workshop used to prepare students to become tutors.

“Everybody benefits with this operation,” Oliver says. “The students who take the tutoring class gain some hands-on practice and the Tutoring Center gets enthusiastic math and science majors.”

Though the increase in tutors is an important resource, the extended lab hours make it possible for more students to take advantage of the tutoring services.

“Previously, we had about 25 to 30 hours,” Moskowitz says. “Now we’re up to 59 hours. These extra hours make it possible for students to get more access to tutors.”

And this extended access has not gone unnoticed by students.

Jimmy Garcia, a senior Biology major, appreciates the pre-calculus tutoring he receives at the math lab. However, before the extended hours, it was much more difficult for him to find time to go.

“My schedule’s kind of back to back in the afternoon,” Garcia says, “so the extended hours help.”

Judith Bueller, a tutor and Math Education major, knows that Garcia isn’t the only student benefitting from the new lab hours. “The extended hours are pretty great because a lot of students have crazy days,” she says. “Having a place where you can get help at night is great.”

After all the effort put into making the lab more accessible, Moskowitz hopes that students will take full advantage of the resources available. “Motivated students now have no excuse for not getting the help they need,” he says.