At the beginning of Winter Quarter last year, I decided to start taking elective classes in different academic areas to help me decide on a major. This included a computer science class, even though I had no prior experience with coding. I signed up for an introductory course that used a programming language called Racket. The first few classes were engaging, dynamic, and interesting, but with no prior coding knowledge, I found myself taking slightly longer to grasp concepts and needing more support and practice. During office hours with my professor, he was quick to recommend the College Core Tutor Program, a free tutoring service that is available every week from Sunday to Thursday.
I knew that I needed a bit more practice with local definition recursion, a concept we had been learning in class that week. After a dinner with my friends that night at the Strongin House table, I made my way to the Harper Memorial Library, home of the Core Tutors. Upon arrival, I noticed I was not alone—a few of my classmates were also there to get help.
We sat down with the tutor and discussed the high-level concepts from the class and walked through the different strategies to complete our project. My peers and I went around and discussed each other’s ideas, weighing the efficiency of each. Our tutor, a third-year computer science major, contributed important pointers along the way and questioned our ideas to ensure that we had a complete and full understanding of the course content. Once we felt comfortable with the progress we had made, my newfound group of friends and I decided that it was time for a break, and we headed over to Cathey Dining Commons for a sweet treat at fourth meal (the 9 pm to 12 am meal time).
As I found during my experience, the Core Tutors are an excellent resource. It’s great to have a knowledgeable tutor explain conceptual material or demonstrate how to solve problems in scientific and quantitative courses. The tutors specifically specialize in content for introductory courses in Economics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Computer Science, Statistics, and Physics. Additionally, UChicago offers a 1 on 1 writing tutoring program to help ideate, discuss, and revise student’s essays. By offering these programs, UChicago ensures that all students have access to a highly individualized support system. In my case, I found it to be extremely helpful and supportive. And through our collective challenges and triumphs during our tutoring sessions, I also met some great friends!