Common Knowledge Gurus Enhance Student Success with Homework Help

Eastern Kentucky University’s Common Knowledge Gurus have expanded in number and locations to provide extra opportunities for student success.

“The Gurus are an elite group of carefully screened upperclassmen,” Mandy Eppley, Common Knowledge coordinator, said. “They are called Gurus because of their ability to answer any question about anything. Their personality characteristics make them successful mentors for all EKU students.”

This year’s 23 Gurus offer students homework help by walk-in or Skype appointments in athletic training, anatomy/neuroanatomy, theater, anthropology, psychology, writing, religion, history, public speaking, Microsoft Office and Adobe products, Math 105, occupational science, American Sign Language, special education, women and gender studies, interpreter training, Spanish, biology, earth science and elementary education.

Gurus also offer help to faculty and staff by:

•   serving as mentors for Student Success classes.

•   giving presentations to classes about time management and organizational skills.

•   meeting with chairs and professors to arrange homework help sessions for students.

•   attending classes at professors’ requests to discuss Gurus services and homework help to classes.

•   meeting bi-weekly with individual chairs and administrators of student service areas to gather information about their department to enter into shared wiki among Gurus to assist students with direct questions about their program.

•   collaborating with student service areas to set up booths to promote their services.

•   attending staff meetings to discuss services and promotion.

•   encompassing almost every academic department and student service area.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, a staff of only 12 Gurus offered 450-500 homework help sessions.

The group also offers a student help desk by walk in or Facebook, wireless lounge, conference room available for reservation by email and check-out services for laptops, camcorders, projectors, projector screens and iPads.

Gurus are located in the Tech Commons behind Fountain Food Court in the Powell Building, Student Success Building computer lab and the Student Technology Lab in the Crabbe Library.

“I would have loved having a group of friendly people willing to help me with anything my freshman year,” said Melissa Beard, education major and the first GURU hired. “I think our program is so great because it is perfect for helping freshmen transfer smoothly over into college life. It is essentially great for any college student because it is a place where any student can come to hang out, ask questions or get homework help. It is such a unique program that not many other colleges offer, so it only makes sense to take advantage of all the great help a Guru can offer.”

The Common Knowledge program began in 2010 after Mona Isaacs, assistant vice president of Information Technology, had a vision to create a student-centered, campus-wide mentoring program.

Contact C.K. Gurus on www.facebook.com/ckgurus and www.twitter.com/ckguruseku and on Skype at Common_Knowledge. For more information, visit www.it.eku.edu/gurus. Services are offered to all students, including extended campuses and online.

Published on September 11, 2012