SLAC lab offers mentoring

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Students can get tutoring by appointment.

Sergio Medina

The student learning assistance center, known as the SLAC lab, is bringing forward a new way to help students with a peer-mentoring program.

In an interview Feb. 2, academic Coordinator Geraldo Guerra said the idea behind peer-mentoring is for students to have another student to relate to.

“Maybe there’s something that you need to address with somebody who’s closer to your age or has a similar background … went to the same high school or maybe you went to a similar school district,” Guerra said.

Guerra’s idea is that the program’s mentors guide students who have questions and concerns about academic performance, financial aid, registration or finding their way around this college.

“It’s difficult to find information; this college is huge,” Guerra said. “So, if you don’t know about certain resources, the mentor will know.”

Students can exchange phone numbers and e-mails with their mentors to keep in contact.

Guerra said that exchange is not a requirement.

“It’s going to be a mutual agreement that the student is comfortable with,” he said.

Simultaneously, administrative services specialist Bertha Ovalle, who oversees work-study students in the SLAC lab, shares a passionate interest in students who need guidance and resources.

She encourages students to seek help at the SLAC lab.

“You’re not alone,” she said in an interview Jan. 26.

Guerra encourages students interested in being assigned a peer mentor to ask at the SLAC lab’s front desk.

“We’ll start matching them up,” Guerra said.

Currently, only work-study students can become peer mentors.

Four mentors are available now, Guerra said.

Mentors are assigned for the rest of the semester. Each one can be assigned up to five mentees.

The SLAC lab also continues to offer workshops and tutoring sessions, with nine tutors who supplement instruction on a range of subjects such as math, biology, chemistry, English, history and Spanish.

The complete list of subjects tutored is available on the SLAC page on the college website.

The tutoring sessions are 30 minutes long. A student is entitled to two sessions a day three times a week.

Students are encouraged to schedule appointments by calling or going by and signing up.

“Tutors start getting booked up really fast,” Guerra said.

The SLAC lab had a total of 10,557 students visit in the fall.

Additionally, the lab provides five 15 to 20-minute workshops for students covering ways to improve note-taking, dealing with math anxiety and anxiety in general, managing time and stress, improving test-taking skills and improving studying skills.

The weekly schedule for this semester’s workshops is available at

Ovalle and Guerra want students to feel welcome and comfortable in the SLAC lab.

“It’s all about building a relationship with them,” Ovalle said.

Guerra wants students to understand how open and friendly lab employees are.

“This is a spot for them where they can hang out and study together,” he said.

While both the SLAC and mega lab offer computers for students to use, Guerra said the SLAC lab offers more resources.

“We differ (from the mega lab) because we are a full academic learning support center,” he said. “You have the trained tutors and trained mentors who can reach out and actually sit down with you and work on a problem. The mega lab doesn’t have that.”

The lab’s lobby has 72 computers with Microsoft Office as well as desks and seating areas for students.

The lab also has GoPrint services. Black-and-white copies are 5 cents. Color copies are 40 cents.

Lab hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

The SLAC lab is in Room 707 of Moody Learning Center.

For more information, call 210-486-0165.


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