The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

DVC staff struggles to preserve tutoring

Raissa Yona (right) tutors Jonathan Reaves (left) to help him with his math assignments in the DVC Math Lab. (Travis Jenkins/The Inquirer 2010)

Three DVC tutoring programs are struggling due to reductions in their budgets.

Math and English are the two largest tutoring programs facing problems. Disability Support Services–known as Disabled Student Programs and Services at the state level– has had to cut its tutoring services completely.

“We knew that the state was going to cut DSPS…much greater than the overall college budget,” DSS manager Stacey Shears said.

DSS tutoring was cut mainly because tutoring is not federally mandated. Shears said the tutors cost about $150,000.

DSS was able to reinstate some tutoring for basic skills math and English students with money from the Foundation for College Success, which oversees the Basic Skills Initiative. It is unclear whether this will continue in future semesters, FCS Co-Coordinator Lupe Dannels said.

“They definitely need the basic skills tutoring,” said Michael Burnside, president of Club A3, a campus club dedicated to advocating for disabled students. “Just because you made it past the basic skills courses doesn’t mean you don’t need tutoring.”

He said some of the other tutoring programs do not have the services necessary for disabled students.

The Math Lab has only two computers with a screen magnifier for the many students who may need it, said Burnside who suffers from impaired eyesight.

Shears said that DSS is trying to start discussing additional training to teach tutors how to help disabled students campus-wide.

At the same time, the Math Lab, which provides tutoring for struggling math students, is having operational difficulties.

“Over the past year, we have been trying to smooth out the operational side absorbing the services provided by the late tutoring center,” said Ade Origunwa, senior office assistant in the mathematics department.

When faced with an 11.53 percent operating budget reduction to all divisions for the 2010-2011 school year, contract classes – weekly study groups for Math 75 students – and their assigned instructional assistants were cut to keep from reducing hours of a math lab coordinator. Math Lab hours were also reduced on Fridays.

The math lab now offers services, including by-appointment and group tutoring, previously provided by central tutoring which was cut last year.

Math Lab tutor Ken Dao said he has not seen tremendous effects from the reductions.

“The [math] department has tried its best for students not to notice the impact of the cuts,” Origunwa said. “We’re trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.”


Contact Julius Rea at [email protected]


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About the Contributor
Julius Rea
Julius Rea, Editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief, spring and fall 2011. Graphics editor, fall 2010.

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DVC staff struggles to preserve tutoring