Volume 20 | issue nº 4 2019

Student Centeredness at its Best

By Hanan Nasser

More in this issue

Academic Success Center serves students beyond its purpose for tutors and tutees alike.

Every semester, the Academic Success Center caters to more than 1,000 students to help them achieve their full academic potential. The center has been running since 2015, providing more than 100 walk-in and group tutoring sessions that cover a myriad of subjects from education to math and accounting, among others.

The driving force behind the initiative, Directors of Student Services Zeina Trad and Aya El Mir – in Byblos and Beirut respectively – explained that the center was set up to respond to students’ distinct learning needs. “The tutoring service is one example of the university’s student support vehicles which drives home its mission of being a student-centered institution,” declared Trad.

El Mir explained how the process plays out: “Run in close coordination with the various schools and departments, ASC assesses the needs of students in certain courses and asks the course’s instructor or department chair to nominate an academically excelling student to assist his or her peers.” She also underlined how the unique dynamic of students being tutored by their peers removes the formality of a classroom setting.

From the tutees’ perspective, computer engineering undergrad Rami Kanj said that his tutor helped him better understand the material at hand and improved his performance in exams and assignments, while mechatronics engineering student Ali Mezher said the sessions provided “a completely new perspective that helped in better overcoming the harder parts of the course.”

From the tutors’ standpoint, tutoring helped them gain teaching experience, enhance their soft skills, and deepen their own knowledge of the subject matter. For alumnus Hussein Basma (BE ’16) tutoring was also a way of giving back to his alma mater. “I felt that this experience was my opportunity to say thank you to the university for its continuous and generous financial aid.”

Through its service, the ASC is ultimately fostering team spirit and promoting camaraderie among students, whereby tutors and tutees have become a source of inspiration and encouragement for one another.