The Weber State University Nontraditional Student Center is sponsoring a developmental math study and tutoring group specifically for students in Math 950, 990 and 1010. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the Nontraditional Student Center for treats and move over to the Lampros Hall Hub from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for study and tutoring.

Statistics show 56 percent of students at WSU are nontraditional, according to Debbie Cragun, coordinator of the Nontraditional Student Center. The center decided a math study group would be a positive addition for students because many of them are enrolled in developmental math courses.

Cragun came to Brenda Smith, a Nontraditional Center office aide and peer mentor-in-training, with the idea. Smith is a freshman at WSU and is enrolled in Math 990. She said she fully supported the idea of the group. As a nontraditional student, Smith said she faces the same challenges and struggles that many other students from the center face.

“From my experience, it is a little bit intimidating going into the Hub after being out of school for 20 years and while trying to get back into the groove with four kids,” Smith said.

Smith explained that the biggest benefit the group wishes to provide students with is a strong comfort level.

“We decided if we could get a group together of the same type of students and age group in one area, the comfort level would rise for them,” Smith said. “We want to make it easier for them to ask questions and feel more comfortable in the college atmosphere while pursuing their education.”

George Van Etten is a sophomore at WSU taking Math 990 for the third time this semester. He said the tutoring group has helped him with his math because he feels comfortable asking questions and realizes there are other students out there who also have a difficult time with math.

“I haven’t done math or algebra in about 20 years and now I’m trying to do it again,” Van Etten said. “Redoing math is not like learning how to ride a bicycle. I have never forgotten how to ride a bicycle.”

Van Etten said he enjoys the group because he has a difficult time studying at home with his children and the other distractions he faces. He has made a point every Tuesday and Thursday to come and do all of his math with other nontraditional students who he feels are just like him.

“I like to know that there are other people who are in the same boat: other parents, other adults, people who have been out of school for a while and have come back for whatever reason, and people who are older,” Van Etten said.

Diane Konkol, a freshman in her first semester at WSU, is currently taking Math 950. She attended the math group for the first time last Thursday, and said she can already see a number of positive benefits.

“When you go with a group, it is easier having that peer support, having people around you working towards a similar goal,” Konkol said. “You can ask for help on your own, but it’s different with the group mentality. The group support is a positive benefit for me.”

The group is located in a separate room inside the Hub, and tutors come in every five to 20 minutes to see if additional help is needed. A separate tutor will be provided specifically for the group if at least 15 students attend regularly. Treats are available, and a midterm pizza party is planned for those who regularly attend. Smith said she wants students to know about the opportunity the group is providing and hopes more students will join.

“The group can help them to relate to other students, complete their classes, and feel comfortable doing it,” she said. “It gives them a comfortable place to ask questions and feel like they are an equal, not labeled as nontraditional, but simply a student at Weber State University.”

For more information or to register for the study group, students can call the Nontraditional Student Center at 801-626-7794 or stop by Room 322 in the Shepherd Union Building.

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