participants at the tutor expoTutor Expo ’16, the third annual conference by and for postsecondary tutors, faculty, staff, and administrators connected to tutoring and learning assistance within the California community college system, was held in Gilroy, CA, at Gavilan College on Friday, March 25, 2016. The theme for this conference was “Making Connections,” and two proposals from Skyline College were accepted and presented, with an enthusiastic response from attendees. The Skyline College contingent was well-represented with 20 people in total, including Learning Commons Director Pearl Ly, Learning Center staff, Peer Tutors, Professional Tutors, and Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders.

SI Leader Ricardo Buzo teamed up with SI Coordinator Michael Urquidez to present “Building Trust with Supplemental Instruction”. This session shared keys to success that have grown the Skyline College SI program from a small number of courses to a program that supports over 30 sections, with plans to expand further in the fall. Ricardo shared examples of his creative approach that have made his Statistics SI sessions some of the best-attended and highest performing in terms of student success.

Science Tutor Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux and Instructional Aides Hong Guo (Math) and Christina Trujillo (Writing & Reading Lab) presented “Extending the Classroom: Workshops in Partnership with Courses”. This session highlighted the advantages of aligning workshop content with particular courses, such as Physics, to make college-level academic success workshops more effective. Since launching this new approach to workshops and adding new subjects such as Physics and Chemistry, attendance is nearing 500 students for the spring 2016 semester, which is a 50% increase over the fall 2015 semester.

Other presentations addressed topics such as tutor training, faculty-tutor collaboration, online tutoring, discipline-specific tutoring, program development, and more. Tutor Expo ’16 was offered through the California Community College Success Networks (3CSN) newest community of practice, the Learning Assistance Project, whose mission is to work across campuses to sustain a community of educators toward the professionalization of postsecondary tutoring and learning assistance.

For more information about Skyline College Learning Center programs and services, please refer to the Learning Center website. To inquire about participating in a workshop, or scheduling a workshop for your students, please contact Learning Center Instructional Aide Christina Trujillo at extension 7019 or email her at

Article by David Reed