FHSU partners with Smarthinking to offer online tutoring anytime, anywhere
09/03/2002

It is 1 a.m. in the morning and you are stumped by that awful chemistry equation your teacher has assigned for tomorrow. What do you do?

Under previous circumstances, Fort Hays State University students would be in desperate need of a tutor and would be unable to reach anyone. Fortunately, with the new partnership between FHSU and Smarthinking, students are able to receive 24-hour online academic assistance.

During spring 2002, FHSU began a pilot program with Smarthinking. One hundred students from different areas of the campus, including undecided majors and Virtual College students, were chosen to try out the services. The pilot program produced positive responses and great results, initiating a partnership between Smarthinking and FHSU in June.

The new partnership provides additional free tutoring in math, statistics, writing, accounting, economics, and chemistry to help fit into students' schedules.

"This partnership is by no means meant to replace tutoring services already offered by FHSU but rather to provide more opportunity for FHSU students to benefit from tutoring after hours," said Dr. Patty Griffin, director of the Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center.

With the busy lifestyle of students going from class to work to extracurricular activities and many other events, students are sometimes unable to attend the scheduled tutoring sessions provided by the Kelly Center and if students are unable to attend the scheduled sessions they are unable to obtain help from other FHSU sources. This is the discovery made by Maggie Denning, coordinator of Academic Support Services, Dr. Larry Gould, FHSU provost and Griffin.

"The Kelly Center offers tutoring services for students from 8-4:30, Monday through Friday, but is unable to offer tutoring services throughout the evening," said Denning.

"I still firmly believe that one-on-one tutoring benefits students, but with all the different types of students FHSU serves, such as commuting students, virtual students, etc., it is hard to provide assistance to everyone," said Denning.

"That is where Smarthinking comes into play by offering late hours, live tutors and great academic assistance for all types of students."

Smarthinking solves FHSU's problem by providing 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week academic assistance to students. The company strives to increase student achievement and enhance learning by connecting students to qualified educators anytime, from any Internet connection. They are able to do this with the help of associates, which include schools, colleges, universities, government agencies, textbook publishers and other education providers. More than 200 school clients and businesses work with Smarthinking, including the U.S. Army, Kentucky Virtual University and Houghton Mifflin.

Smarthinking offers many options, which include one-on-one, drop-in tutoring sessions, an online writing lab, question submittals, pre-scheduled tutoring sessions, student archives and academic resources.

One-on-one, drop-in tutoring is one of the greatest benefits Smarthinking offers. It allows student to drop in during specific hours, 3 p.m. to midnight, Sunday-Thursday, and ask questions to "e-structors."

Smarthinking's e-structors are seasoned educators, most with advanced degrees in their fields. They are drawn from among college faculty, graduate students, high school teachers and retired educators. All e-structors must go through a training process and are regularly evaluated for quality and consistency.

Smarthinking also offers an opportunity for students to submit question to e-structors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Along with question submittal, students can pre-schedule tutoring sessions with specific tutors 48 hours in advance.

Another benefit of the new partnership is that all tutoring sessions on Smarthinking are archived and kept in students' files so they can obtain those files anytime and review for upcoming tests.

"I feel Smarthinking will be extremely beneficial to FHSU students because it offers very individualized tutoring services for students and it will compliment FHSU's on-campus tutoring program," said Daron Jamison, FHSU Student Body President.

To get registered with Smarthinking or to get more information on the partnership contact Griffin by phone at (785) 628-5577, by e-mail at pgriffin@fhsu.edu, or stop by the Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center office in room 307 in Picken Hall.


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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu