Trustees approve 24/7 online tutoring
By Aaron Emerson
Editor in Chief
Twenty-four-hour a day, seven-day a week online tutoring is on the horizon for LCC students.
The Lansing Community College Board of Trustees unanimously (7-0) approved the proposal for the tutoring at its Nov. 14 regular meeting.
The college currently provides in-person tutoring through the Learning Commons in the Arts and Sciences Building. It is available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
According to vendor research in the Board of Trustees agenda packet, most students request tutoring after 9 p.m. on weekdays, as well as Sunday nights.
Furthermore, it also found students prefer immediate, on-demand tutoring, while LCC students are currently required to make an appointment.
The approved online tutoring will be provided by a vendor called Brainfuse. It will cost the college $115,000 out of its general fund for the first year of the program.
According to LCC professor and Operation 100% Project Manager Martine Rife, the new tutoring will most likely begin by spring semester 2017. She added there is a remote chance it could start at the end of fall semester 2016.
“The first year will be a pilot program,” Rife said. “There will be options to renew the service every year for four years.”
Throughout the pilot program, online tutoring will be offered to Accounting 210 students and possibly Intro to Computers students, according to Rife.
Each student can receive up to five tutoring hours per semester, with each session lasting an average of 20 minutes.
In the future, however, LCC has plans to offer online tutoring for many other courses if the contract is renewed.
“We want to offer supplemental tutoring for all gateway courses, such as introductory courses in math, science, accounting and computers,” Rife said.
“We are really excited. (Brainfuse) works with hundreds of colleges across the state,” Rife said. “Preliminary research shows that students who use this service receive higher grades and stay in school to complete their courses.”
LCC Trustee Andrew Abood said offering online tutoring to students in this generation is vital.
“In today’s world, if you don’t give online help, you’re not really relating to the students,” Abood said. “I think it’s a great idea.”
For information on LCC’s current tutoring services, contact The Learning Commons at (517) 483-1206.