History & Mission
The Residential Tutoring Centers (RTCs) were inaugurated in the Fall of 2005 under the direction of the Division of Campus Residences. Today it is under the direction of the division of Residential Programs. Up until the Fall semester of 2014, the centers operated on Monday and Wednesday nights at the ITS Center from 8-11 pm, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the GLS/HDV Center from 8-11 pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Tabler Center for Arts, Culture, and Humanities from 8-11 pm. Currently, the centers operate Monday through Thursday from 8:00pm through 11:00pm. We offer free walk in tutoring service Mondays and Wednesdays at the ITS Center, Tuesdays at the GLS/HDV Center, and Thursdays at the SSO Center.
Recognizing that the college experience is more nuanced than just attending classes, we seek to facilitate students with a friendly yet professional and challenging environment that promotes academic learning holistically. Our approach seeks to create learning spaces conducive to student retention and graduation.
The Residential Tutoring Centers have a four-parted mission:
- To provide tutoring to undergraduate students in a location that is uniquely convenient. Research within the residence halls has shown that many students study in their rooms in the evening, after departmental help rooms have closed and professor or TA office hours have ended. The availability of tutors in the evening at the RTCs, and at locations in close proximity to students’ residences, provides a uniquely convenient service for students’ needs.
- To assist students as they adjust to course structure and pedagogy at a comprehensive Research 1 AAU university. The courses offered for tutoring at the RTCs are large introductory-level courses which students often need to pass in order to advance into their chosen majors. These courses are typically taught in a lecture format and their enrollment varies from 150 up to 500 students per session. Many students making the transition from high school to college have never before encountered this pedagogical style and expect a more individualized approach to teaching. At the RTC, tutoring is delivered by students who already experienced the courses and excel both academically and socially. More than a learning space, the RTCs become a learning environment where academic proficiency and social interactions meet. The individualized instruction that students receive at the RTCs fulfills their needs of personalized instruction within a socio-academically active community.
- To allow students to realize that asking for help is part of the learning process. Our peer-tutoring model creates a less intimidating environment that makes the process of asking for help as easy and comfortable as possible. Additionally, as the fundamental knowledge of courses is quite standard, peer-tutors often have valuable insight for their students concerning the details of their courses.
- To retain students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses, and encourage diversity in these areas. Stony Brook is a top R1 and AAU University with strong focus in STEM. Many incoming freshmen and transfer students seek to obtain degrees in STEM disciplines. Given the variability of high school preparation that our incoming freshmen and transfer students bring within, the RTCs bridge the gap created by a challenging research oriented institution that aims to be both a place for access and excellence in education, particularly in STEM disciplines. We have and keep on stablishing relationships with campus organizations such as C-STEP and Disability Support Services with the aim to provide support to all students on campus and to encourage the retention of a diverse student body.