In the summer of 2011, Noah Brummer, IEEE Student-branch secretery, approached ECE Chair, James McNames, to see if the ECE department would be willing to support having the IEEE group provide free tutoring to students taking undergraduate courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Noah knew first-hand that taking the core courses in engineering could be unsettling and challenging. He felt that by having student who had successfully completed those classes not long before tutor a student just starting in those classes, would be not only helpful to the new students, but encouraging as well.
Chair McNames agreed that a tutoring program for undergraduates, by undergraduates, would be a great service and saw that it would also fit into the core aspects of the department’s newly written Mission: to prepare students for successful careers in engineering practice and research, and to mentor them in the process of innovation, technology development, and knowledge creation. The department agreed to fund the tutoring program, with shared financial support from the Dean’s office, for the first term and see how students responded.
So, in Fall 2011, the IEEE Student Branch launched their free tutoring services for undergraduates in 100 and 200-level electrical and computer engineering courses in the Circuit Lounge of the Fourth Avenue Building (FAB). Despite minimal advertisement, it was a hit, with nearly one hundred student visits to that term. The department agreed to continue support of the program through Winter and Spring terms, and the IEEE group responded to student requests by extending tutoring hours, adding Saturday hours to the schedule, and bringing more tutors into the fleet.
Every day but Sunday, you can find student tutors at the long table in the Circuit Lounge working to support the academic success of fellow future electrical and computer engineers and meet their goals:
· Help fellow students find their full potential early-on.
· Lay the groundwork for student excellence in the 300 and 400 level courses.
· Promote an environment of student-support.