Here to Help: Rio’s Learning Assistance Center

Often times as a college student, we find it difficult to ask for help in the classes we struggle in. Lack of resources or knowledge of them stops us from taking advantage of what is available to us. Many students at Rio Hondo are not aware of the Learning Assistance Center located in the Learning Resource Center building.

They offer tutoring for over 45 different subjects. Students may walk in and make an appointment with a tutor or walk in and work on their assignments independently. They have multiple computers available as well as a study room. They offer free printing for assignments as well. They also cater to Avanace and Gateway students.  

Robert Diaz, an instructional assistant at the LAC who supervises a staff of 60 tutors who tutor over 45 subjects. His mission is to bring a more personal touch of the LAC for students to feel comfortable enough to go in and ask for assistance. Diaz was once a tutor himself.

Hector Molina, Senior Instructional Assistant of the LAC was a former tutor as well.

“My goal is to have students feel comfortable asking questions so they can leave better than they came in..I feel like im a part of their success somehow.”

Current students also have the same passion for helping others in need.

Adrian Medina, a Sociology major is one of the many dedicated tutors at the LAC. He tutors basic Math, English, and Psychology. Medina found success in the LAC and was recommended for gateway tutoring where a tutor sits in class for specific courses. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, Medina was not able to become a tutor for gateway. However, regardless of the circumstances, he began tutoring for the class despite not being paid..

Diaz also added that Medina is very “Help-Minded” because he stays to help even when he is off the clock.

Two professors, Thomas Callinan and Jim Mathis put on English workshops as well. The workshops can be found online of the LAC page on the Rio Hondo website.

Moises Mata taught for 10 years until he became coordinator of the LAC, now he makes sure all tutoring services are accessible for students.

“My mission is to help students become better students.”

Mata came in with expectations of changing the dynamics of the LAC so students would be more aware of such an accessible resource. He took the mission to heart and made sure he got the word out about the center. He made sure students were being served so they can help themselves.

Before I left the LAC I spoke to an Adjunct Professor who assists in tutoring from time to time at different community colleges. She made a point to say, “Out of all the colleges I have worked at, I am most impressed by this one.” She described the tutors to be the most “mature and responsible.”

Such an impressive tutoring service is right on campus and available to all students. Everyone at the LAC invites and welcomes anyone seeking help in any subject or simply a quiet place to work especially as finals quickly sneak upon us.