Science Tutoring Lab Considered

Diaz said the lab in the Coykendall Science Building could be used as a tutoring center, but it's not certain.
Diaz said the lab in the Coykendall Science Building could be used as a tutoring center, but it's not certain.

Sen. Joskary Diaz has a goal to start a science lab.

“Ever since I was a freshman I wanted to major in biology, but I realized it was hard,” Diaz said. “And it was hard enough to get the professors attention because it was a lecture and he has like 200 students.”

Although SUNY New Paltz currently has writing and math labs as well as CADL (Center for Academic Development and Learning) tutoring, Diaz said it would be beneficial for all students to have a science lab. They are required to take two natural science courses (NSCI) and she said it is difficult to get the help you need in larger classes. The introduction of a science lab would remedy that problem.

Diaz said when she attended the math and writing labs, they helped her with schoolwork. She said she never received that extra help in NSCI classes. She said the lab option should be available for any student as long as they are required to take these classes.

Having a science lab would be a good alternative to solely relying on professor’s office hours, Diaz said. Similarly, Sen. Nabiha Kabir said since there are only a few professors in the science department, it often becomes challenging for students to attend office hours.

“I think pursuing [a science lab] is an excellent new way for my peers to succeed in their science general education requirements,” Kabir said. “Science tends to be a very difficult subject to understand if a student is unfamiliar and [this will] open an opportunity for students to get help to understand the science discipline.”

Diaz said opposed to other forms of tutoring, students wouldn’t be set to a strict schedule. Those in need of extra help would be able to go to the lab any day instead of having to wait for their set day once a week.

“Sometimes that week you don’t have anything to do for that class,” Diaz said. “Other times you do have something to do but you only meet with that person on Monday and you have a test on that Thursday and you want to meet again. The science lab would be open any day.”

Kabir said this is not only a viable option, but also a good way to assist students. She said this would be the best way to help students succeed in their general education classes.

Diaz said as a student senator she has had a lot of encouragement surrounding this topic because students want to excel in their classes.

Fourth-year English major John Sotomayor said a science lab would be helpful. He said New Paltz generally focuses on liberal arts and although that is helpful, he wishes he had more support in the sciences.

Diaz said the science lab would be opened in a lab in either the Coykendall Science Building or in the math lab by splitting it to make accommodations. Professors and students will be sought to volunteer in the lab.