The Longhouse Learning Centre started offering tutoring services to students in September, 2009. Brittany Luby, a graduate student herself, and Eva Prkachin help First Nations students meet the academic challenges presented at the University of British Columbia. “I think it’s really grown and I’m really excited for the new term,” Luby said.
Currently, students can get one-on-one tutoring, use the centre’s computers and get help with all stages of the writing process. Luby and Prkachin hope to help students in even more subjects soon. Right now, the majority of students using the centre are focused in the arts. “Hopefully, by September of next year we’ll have expanded into maths and the hard sciences, if the demand is there,” said Luby.
Luby said students get more than academic support, “I think too, it’s just really important to know you’re not here alone, I know for me I came a long way to be at school and a lot of the students I’ve met have come a long way from home as well.”
The Learning Centre is available to graduate and undergraduate UBC students on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon until 4pm at the First Nations Longhouse. The Centre has computers for student use. If stuents can’t make it during office hours, they can also get help via email.
Prkachin said sometimes, it’s not always academic help a student needs, “you can come in and chat with someone about writing or about study skills issues or even if you’re stressed out and need somebody to chat to.”
The Learning Centre’s philosophy of student support makes it a natural fit in the Longhouse. “There’s a real support network here of Indigenous students,” Luby said of the Longhouse community.
Luby said students often send thank you cards after getting help with coursework but, “I think for me, the biggest sign of our success so far has been repeat visitors.” She said many times a student will “come in once and then you’ll see them again on their next assignment and then before an exam and that’s a really great feeling.”