The Tutoring and Academic Skills Center also known as TASC is located on the second floor inside The Hilb building. The center offers tutoring five days a week for all enrolled College of the Desert students in need.
Alex Alvarado-Cantu is one of the three tutorial coordinators working every week. Alvarado-Cantu has been in this position since 2015 and has a hand in hiring and training tutors.
He also has to be available to observe tutors working throughout the day.
“I personally love this kind of work because it requires us to work as a team, and we try really hard to communicate with our tutors so that they could have a balanced schedule with enough time to study,” said Alvarado-Cantu.
TASC has a plethora of classes that they tutor for in the fields of nursing, science, American sign language, music and business, but only math and English are offered all the time.
When it comes to hiring tutors Alvarado-Cantu looks for students who have done really well in their classes. This means they need to have earned a B or higher in that specific course.
Furthermore, student tutors also need to obtain a couple of recommendations from professors who teach the courses that the students want to tutor.
Alvarado-Cantu added that they usually start the hiring process a semester before students start tutoring, which means that if they need new tutors for the spring semester, they have to start hiring in the fall.
However, TASC holds training sessions for incoming students in the spring. “We hold what is called a TASC conference. It is modeled like a professional conference, and we have key-note speakers that are COD members,” said Alvarado-Cantu, “We want to give them the tools that they can use to best serve other students.”
During this event, students familiarize themselves with the resources available at the college.
Alvarado-Cantu admitted that there are advantages to having student tutors working at TASC.
The student tutors who have done well in their courses understand the teaching methods of the instructor and can better understand the students being tutored.
Carl Schoemig has been a tutor at TASC since 2018 and tutors computer science and writing.
“What I like most about being a tutor is being able to meet students, and being able to help them when they struggle in their classes,” said Schoemig.
He used to be a student worker for TASC, and back then he needed to be more flexible, but as a tutor, he only teaches students one particular subject.
Schoeming does find that sometimes computer science gets hard to teach when students do not do the necessary reading, but explained that English is easier to tutor since, even if the students do not read one can still help them understand the subject.
CeCuauhtli Martinez has been tutoring at TASC since the beginning of this semester, only specializing in math, “Not only do I get to work, but I get to do what I love, and helping others is a huge reward,” Martinez said.
Tutors are faced with many challenges but are always willing and ready to help students.
“I would consider tutoring stats, I’d be willing to do chemistry as well in order better understand the subject, and help people with it,” said Martinez.
For information about TASC contact 760-776-7241.
The COD campus will be closed until April 30, 2020.