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UI launches new Tutor Iowa site for students

BY CASSIDY RILEY | SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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Students at the University of Iowa have a new option to seek online resources for tutoring and despite the price tag officials said the program will be more efficient.

The Tutor Iowa website was launched in late August and replaced the old tutor referral system located at the IMU. In the past students who needed help in a certain subject would be advised to the information Hub at the IMU and they would be given a list of tutors that were available for hire.

The new website cost roughly $3,000 for creation and web design and is paid for by the University College. Students can access the site to find tutors and other resources on campus for help with any subject.

“I wanted to make sure students had one centralized location so they could see all the resources on campus,” said Kathryn Sojka, the creator of Tutor Iowa and director of new student services.

Sojka said the website should help students realize the number of resources available to them on campus.

“What I like about this is you could be stressed out and sitting at home at 11 o’clock at night and be thinking, ‘Oh my gosh I’ve got to find help,’ you can go online and look it up,” she said.

Sarah Gersowsky, who is in her second year tutoring, said this year she has seen a variety of people from students to high school parents looking for tutoring services.

And even though the UI junior has a limited number of clients she can assist, she thinks Tutor Iowa is a good resource because it helps her advertise to a wider audience.

“They know my flexibility, they know my major, they know what I charge,” Gersowsky said. “So it kind of eliminates those initial questions.”

Maureen Schaefer, associate director of academic advising, said Tutor Iowa has helped consolidate tutoring resources.

And a few UI students said they believe the new tutoring site will make the process much easier.

UI student Zach Ilten said even though he has not needed a tutor, he would use the online database.

“If I were to try to find a tutor, I would start with the free university sources, and if I was still struggling, I would go for a private tutor,’ he said. “It’s probably what they should have done all along.”

UI freshman Tracey Dispensa said the convenience of having the resources online makes the idea more appealing.

“If it’s online it’s easier to access because if it’s online you can find it when you’re sitting in your dorm rather than having to walk to the IMU,” she said.


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