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Office of Minority Student Affairs

Tutoring & Instructional Services

Tutoring and study skills instruction

The Academic Services Center (also known as OMSA East) assists students in developing the confidence, independence and active learning skills necessary to meet both the University's academic standards and students' individual educational goals. This skill development is facilitated via tutoring, review sessions, supplemental instruction and study skills workshops, as well as by mobilizing other campus and community resources.

NOTE: Tutoring and study skills workshops are not offered during the summer, on holidays, or when classes are not in session.

Tutoring

Tutoring at OMSA is extremely helpful in the transition from high school to college and offers much more than what students have come to expect of tutoring encountered during their K-12 experience. It supplements the material gained from textbooks and lectures, and is not a remedial service. College tutoring offers an interactive way of helping students review, synthesize and process material in a one-on-one or group study session.

Many students utilize tutoring to achieve better grades than they would have by studying on their own. OMSA East provides tutoring primarily for the 100-level, high-risk courses that most freshmen are required to take, especially math, chemistry, physics and foreign languages and has facilitated tutoring for more than 160 courses. Tutors are students who have already taken the same course and received a grade of "A" or "B." Students matched with a tutor meet for at least one hour each week throughout the semester. Walk-in (or drop-in) help also is available for most math, chemistry and physics courses. Schedules for walk-in tutoring are posted at the beginning of each semester. Students can call or come by to find out what the walk-in hours are for the subject in which they are interested.

2010 Tutor of the Year, Rico Johnson, with Dean of Students Ken Ballom. Requesting a matched tutor is easy. Just sign up through our TUTORTRAC™ system.

Great tutoring enhances student success, and, each year, OMSA honors a few tutors who have been nominated as Tutors of the Year by their students. Nominators consistently describe OMSA tutors as helpful, patient and knowledgeable. Pictured here is one of the 2010 Tutors of the Year, Rico Johnson (left), chemistry tutor, receiving his certificate from Ken Ballom, Dean of Students (right).

Also see Frequently asked questions about tutoring.

Review sessions

In addition to review sessions held by UI teaching assistants and professors, OMSA East offers course-specific sessions to assist students in preparation for final exams. Students in the OMSA database will automatically be notified regarding these final exam review sessions. Students should look for review session details in OMSA email messages and may browse OMSA East's calendar for additional information.

Study skills workshops

Advanced study skills instruction is available to further ensure academic success for all OMSA students. Even though most UI students have been successful in their high school courses, being competitive and successful at the University requires a different set of study skills and academic habits. OMSA students may sign up for individual or small-group study skills sessions at OMSA East in the following:

Supplemental instruction

Supplemental instruction provides enhanced preparation for many required courses. This instruction is done in small groups and, as with tutoring, these groups meet for one regularly scheduled hour each week. In addition, leaders attend lectures, take class notes and do the required reading for the course, all of which aids in the goal of helping students acquire critical thinking skills and study skills that are appropriate and effective for the particular course and subject area. Supplemental instruction has been provided for economics, chemistry, psychology and sociology, but offerings may change from year to year. Students who regularly attend these sessions usually receive a final course grade that is one-half to one grade point higher than non-attendees.

Structured study groups

Structured study groups are similar to regular tutoring in that they are a form of collaborative learning. However, this is a more informal instructional approach in which students of varying abilities and interests work together in small groups to solve problems, complete a project, or achieve a common goal. OMSA facilitates the study groups and offers meeting space for these groups in the OMSA East facility.

Questions about academic services?

If you need more information about tutoring, review sessions, study skills and supplemental instruction study, or study groups, please contact OMSA East at 217-333-7547 or omsa-east [at] illinois [dot] edu. Also for location, maps and direction Click here