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I have a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University. Throughout my schooling, I have assisted peers and younger students with various levels of math, science, and engineering coursework. I enjoy sharing my passion for calculus and love seeing the look of satisfaction when a student solves that difficult integral. When tutoring, my approach is to work with the student to first understand the problem and then to logically think through the process of solving it, thereby more fully learning the material. I am a big fan of drawing graphs and figures to understand a problem. In addition to working with numbers, I love the outdoors and enjoy backpacking, hiking, and Ultimate Frisbee. I am also a dork who indulges in jigsaw puzzles, sci-fi/fantasy literature, and card games.

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Ellen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Valparaiso University - Bachelors, Civil Engineering

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 31

ACT English: 33

ACT Reading: 31

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1510


Hiking, backpacking, playing card games, reading sci-fi/fantasy novels

Q & A

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session, we will discuss the student's objective for the tutoring and both of our roles in it.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help a student become an independent learner by teaching him/her the tools to thinking through a problem.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If a student has difficulty learning a concept, I go back to the fundamentals: draw a picture, define the terms, and break down the question.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

When students struggle with reading comprehension, we work on breaking down the question.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

During a tutoring session, depending on the subject, I use good ol' pencil and paper. Having a calculator nearby is handy to crosscheck answers.

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