A little TLC at PSU Abington

Free tutoring at Abington Learning Center
Abington tutoring

Brandyy Edwards with Dr. Thomas R. Smith, retired English faculty member who volunteers as a tutor in The Learning Center at Penn State Abington.

Credit: Pam Brobst

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Learning Center (TLC) is a warm, welcoming space on the third floor of Penn State Abington's historic Sutherland Building. The staff is friendly and there are bowls filled with candy within arm's reach, but the center's purpose is dead serious: academic success for Abington students.

TLC offers free — yes, zero cost — tutoring for any Penn State Abington student seeking academic support. A mix of professional and peer tutors provide one-on-one sessions in math, science, writing, Spanish, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Online support, through a partnership with NetTutor, offers a broader menu of topics.

Janel Dia, manager of TLC, encourages students to make an appointment or drop in at the first indication they are having difficulty.

“We believe the students should come in as soon as they feel they are struggling in a course. They can get the help they need before falling behind,” she said.

Math and science tutors provide assistance with most undergraduate math courses, biology and chemistry, whether it’s homework, understanding new concepts or preparing for tests.

English and writing tutors are ready to help at any phase in the writing process. Writing tutors offer support for all courses and they assist with grammar and punctuation, voice, organization, formatting and style. Writing consultations are available for students to brainstorm a topic, develop ideas or review a first draft. Tutors also teach students the critical skills of proofreading and editing their own work.

Abington tutoring

Michelle Agudell and Anthony Guckin work with tutor Michele Harbison.

Credit: Pam Brobst

“Besides tutoring for specific courses, we offer lessons around time management and study skills,” Dia said.

Learning and study strategies can range from test preparation, time management, reading and memory tips, note and test taking, and concentration.

Tutors in The Learning Center are a mix of peer and professional tutors.

“There is a collaborative environment here, allowing the peer tutors to learn from the professional tutors, and vice versa,” Dia said.

Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 19 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of its 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus. Lions Gate, the first residence hall on campus, opened in August 2017.