Tutors doing more to support athletes

The Center for Academic Achievement had the opportunity to share its work regarding student-athlete success at the 32nd annual Michigan Tutorial Association’s Connections Conference.

The conference hosted 122 tutors, supplemental instruction leaders and directors of tutoring centers from 26 colleges and universities at the Delta College Planetarium on Oct. 24.

SVSU was one of nine schools to engage participants in informative workshops.

Elaine Hunyadi, coordinator of the Center for Academic Achievement; Randy Baruth, head basketball coach; five Center for Academic Achievement tutors and five SVSU student-athletes shared information about their collaborative efforts over the past two years to help student-athletes succeed.

After seeing great progress in his players that had used the tutoring service, Baruth decided to have his entire team partake in tutor-supported study sessions at the center twice a week for four hours.

The Center for Academic Achievement works with members of three other teams: men’s football, women’s tennis and softball.

Hunyadi particularly enjoys working with student-athletes.

“I’m interested in working with athletes because they have the characteristics of success,” she said. “They understand practice; they understand that, even if you practice really hard, sometimes you don’t win the game. They understand perseverance; they … have an acceptance of failure. They also have an understanding of a relationship with a mentor and how that can help.

“We’re just trying to transfer their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that they already display on the court into their academics.”

Elementary education junior and guard for the basketball team Damon Bozeman spoke highly about changes the center had made in the way he approached academics.

“My freshman year I would open up a book, look it over for 20 minutes and thought I studied,” he said. “When working with the tutors, they actually showed you the steps you need to retain information. You would read it over multiple times, write it out and they would quiz you. Those were some of the things I wasn’t doing before they showed me.”

Not only do tutees find value in the center, but tutors also find fulfillment in offering assistance to student-athletes.

“As a tutor, I really want my tutees to become really self-sufficient learners who can rely on themselves so they don’t need me in the end,” social sciences tutor Kiara Kumar said. “I think I’ve made really good progress with the boys I’ve been working with because they see now how to become a long-term learner and not just this person who does their assignments here and there, takes their exams and then goes on to the next class.”

Bozeman recognizes the balance between academics and sports needs to be prevalent to be successful.

“I feel if you come (to the Center for Academic Achievement), you’ll be very successful in the classroom, and you’ll see results quick,” he said. “Just like you put time into the court, you have to put time into the books and studies.”

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