Students Help Students Achieve their Goals

(Left to right) Alex Walters and Sherman Jones

(Left to right) Alex Walters and Sherman Jones

University of Mississippi engineering students can get help in some of their toughest classes from fellow students at tutoring sessions offered twice a week in Brevard Hall.

The sessions run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Brevard Hall, Room 207. Tutoring is free for group sessions, with one-on-one individual sessions available for a fee. The paid tutoring has been offered since 2010.

“We are highly committed to help all students achieve their goals,” said Oana Najjar, an academic counselor who created and coordinates the tutoring program. “There is one particular Latin phrase that I like: ‘per aspera ad astra,’ meaning ‘to the stars through difficulties’. This is a great way to get there.”

The two different sessions allow students to maintain privacy if desired.

“There are students who want to share their stories with us in order to reach for help when needed; others would prefer to remain anonymous and attend the free sessions when needed,” Najjar said. “We try to be sympathetic to each student who needs help and point him/her in the right direction,”

Tutors are typically graduate students or undergraduates who have finished their calculus classes and scored As in them. Sherman Jones, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, is the tutor for this semester, helping fellow students with math, chemistry and some chemical engineering courses.

Alex Walters, a junior engineering student, has been coming twice a week since the beginning of the semester.

“Tutoring has helped me get through some of my engineering classes, Walters said. “It gives me a chance to make sure my process is right, that I’m getting my math down. It’s a great way to balance what I think is supposed to happen against what is actually supposed to happen.”

Students can come work on homework or have any math questions answered. They can sign up to get email alerts about the sessions, which are sent every other week.

“It’s a nice hour-and-a-half, two-hour chunk every two days to work on something so it helps me stay on top of everything I need to be doing,” Walters said.

It is important for students to come to tutoring, even if to just practice the material being studied, Najjar said.

“I remember as a student I had some difficulties with some of my engineering core courses,” she said. “Persistence, ambition and hard-working are the three important values that can make one succeed and excel in their field.”

Although engineering is a challenging field, it is well worth the effort required, Najjar said.

“Engineering is a rewarding professional career, and pursuing a degree in this field definitely opens up great opportunities for a students,” she said. “Sometimes, this path may be interrupted by obstacles and difficulties, so we want to help engineering students to overcome the challenges by getting the needed help outside the classroom.

Students can either stop by Brevard Hall, Room 215 and request to be paired up with a tutor or submit their tutoring request online at