The Math and Science Skills Center (MSSC) was created in the fall of 2004 with the primary mission of helping students in introductory math and science courses (QR and ‘major’s courses’) with remedial math and science skills. These courses can represent barriers to entering a field of study or finishing requirements for graduation.
Since that time, the MSSC has evolved to both meet the needs of teaching remedial math and science skills as well as providing a venue for students to study in an ideal setting for collaborative and interactive learning. Even high-performing students in introductory courses gravitate to the Center because of its positive learning environment.
To quote a descriptive assessment written by Monica Kriete, a top-performing student in organic chemistry, during her first year: "The tutors are an amazing resource, but one of my favorite things about the MSSC is having a place to come and work and being able to consult with peers (in addition to the tutors)."
The MSSC has over 6000 visits by roughly 20 percent of the student body each academic year. Students making use of the center have diverse majors from across the divisions of the campus.
Many students who find themselves in need of help in QR and introductory-level courses are initially hesitant to seek help. For this reason we initiated the Lead Tutor Program in the fall of 2007. Lead Tutors (LTs) are MSSC tutors whose primary role is to support a specific course. By attending course meetings they are reacquainted with the material and expectations of the instructor and can provide tailored help to students in the class. The lead tutor becomes a familiar face to students enrolled in the course and often represents a non-threatening avenue to seek help.