Code Name: Peer Tutor

At one point or another, most humans have become lost in the digital void with nothing but a mouse for
a compass. That’s why the Student Success Center employs cadets like Dalton Hazelwood, ’24, to help cadets and students navigate the grid with confidence.

Hazelwood is double majoring in computer science and cyber operations with a minor in data science, yet the students he tutors come from a variety of disciplines, such as business majors pursuing the data science minor. “As a subject-area tutor,” he said, “I can work with students across a multitude of classes even if I have not taken the class because I understand the concepts that class needs.”

Computer science is one of the most popular tutoring disciplines, along with math, physics and writing. In fact, the Student Success Center provides tutoring for 21 subject areas, including chemistry, engineering and modern languages. And the list of subjects available is still growing; nursing and intelligence studies were added in time for the center’s 2021-2022 academic year, which overall saw more than 4,000 appointments with over 700 students.

Like all subject-area tutors, Hazelwood does not give answers; instead, he offers individualized assistance to students until they can figure out the solutions on their own. “We try to help them actually understand the content,” he said. In his case, that content often involves high-level coding languages.

Many students find the computer science lab a useful place to study on their own. And if they happen to get stuck on an assignment, a peer is on standby to assist. “Even if you finish your computer science assignment,” Hazelwood said, “just be in the room. Hear the conversations going on; you might pick up on something that you were kind of lost on before and learn more.”

“It’s inspiring to see others smile after they complete an assignment they had been struggling with.”

Likewise, Hazelwood learns new ways of thinking from those he tutors. “I love their presence,” he said. “I like tutoring because it’s inspiring to see others smile after they complete an assignment they had been struggling with.” The interaction enriches tutor and tutee, transferring knowledge and a smile.