By Elizabeth Duggins
February 3, 2017
LSU senior Harley Bordelon, of Morganza, La., is this year’s recipient of the The D.D. and Fran Smith Outstanding Tutor Award for demonstrating excellence in the LSU Center for Academic Success (CAS) Shell Tutorial Center.
Bordelon, a biology major, helps other students with biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry. This semester marks his sixth and final semester at the Shell Tutorial Center.
“For me, tutoring means providing a profound learning experience, a dedication to those I help. . . and a sense of accomplishment when someone says ‘that makes so much sense now, thanks!’” Bordelon said.
Free tutoring, conducted in the Shell Tutorial Center, is one of many support programs CAS offers students to help them persist and graduate in a timely manner in their major of choice. As a walk-in service, tutoring includes homework assistance, test preparation and course-specific learning support. These services are provided by College Reading and Learning Association-certified and CAS-trained peer tutors. The program increases graduation rates up to 17 percent for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students who use the tutoring services over those who do not.
Bordelon identifies a lack of a solid foundation in chemistry as one of the major challenges he and his students face.
“My advice is to make sure the core concepts, the things a professor may mention over and over throughout the semester, are well understood by the end of the class,” Bordelon said.
It is a rigorous process to be honored for the Outstanding Tutor Award. A tutor is required to pass level one CRLA certification; students and tutors take a poll and vote on whom they believe deserves the award. The tutors who receive the most votes go before a selection panel, which declares the winner.
“Harley serves on the Student Advisory Board and mentors other tutors,” said Susan Saale, CAS Associate Director, “we are going to miss him when he graduates this semester.”
Bordelon will attend medical school at LSU-Shreveport this fall. After working and shadowing at hospitals, he realized his strengths at the tutorial center will serve him well in the educational field of medicine.
“You are always learning new techniques, treatments and information which advances the practice of medicine,” Bordelon said, “teaching others, most importantly our patients, about the diseases affecting their lives.”