Student athletes improve study skills four hours a week

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The tutoring program stemmed from the SACMEN initiative.

By Travis Doyle

The student learning assistance center is working with the office of student life in a tutoring and mentoring program to help student athletes improve study habits and to make sure they reach the 2.0 grade-point average needed to be in a club.

“They’re a captured audience since they travel and they play, and they represent the college in the sports world, and so if they want to play they have to come to tutoring,” academic Coordinator Geraldo Guerra said in an interview Feb. 13.

The lab started the sports mentoring program with the sports teams in the fall, he said.

“Dr. Lisa Alcorta, the vice president of student success, approached me a year ago and talked to me about my involvement with our minority males program and she wanted to replicate it with the sports teams,” he said.

She referred to the San Antonio College Men Empowerment Network.

Guerra said an estimated 70-75 student athletes are using this program.

The program requires four hours a week in the lab.

Two of those hours are for team meetings.

The teams meet 4-6 p.m. once a week in a classroom in the lab. Men’s and women’s basketball teams meet Monday, men’s and women’s soccer teams Tuesday, and the women’s volleyball team Thursday.

Each team is assigned a peer mentor, who is a work-study with the lab.

The mentor meets with team members and helps them solve issues with classwork, finding a tutor and learning basic study skills and time management.

“Mainly, the study skills is the biggest thing, just understanding how to take notes, how to stay organized, communicate with your instructor,” he said.

Guerra hopes the program can expand with collaboration from other areas of the college that also offer tutoring, such as the math lab, the writing center, INRW writing center, the BioSpot and the MESA center.

“It can’t just be SLAC on its own. It’s got to be everybody so we’re exploring those options,” he said.

The lab was previously working with minority males on campus through SACMEN.

“It started as a mentoring program to help our minority male students because their demographic is the one that lags over everyone else as far as their retainment for any college-level degree or persistence,” Guerra said. “Usually what happens is they’ll get discouraged, and they’ll drop out and they will never come back to the college. So what we try to do is build a mentoring relationship with the students and match them up with someone in the career they’re trying to get.”

The students in this program are matched with students or faculty mentors.

Students can fill out an application to be part of the minority males program by visiting this college’s website or lab.

More information about the program is available on this college’s website.

The SLAC lab is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in Room 707 of Moody Learning Center.

For more information about the SLAC lab, visit or call 210-486-0165.


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