“You can change people’s lives,” said Jack Preigh, a student and a supplemental instruction leader at Front Range Community College.
Preigh began attending FRCC and working in the Supplemental Instruction, SI, office five years ago. It began as a job but it has turned into much more for Preigh.
SI at FRCC is an academic support program that pairs SI leaders with students struggling in math and some science courses at the college. SI leaders attend the class with their peers and assist them during class. They also arrange outside study and review sessions to offer additional support.
In the second semester as an SI, Preigh discovered that it wasn’t that students lacked the skills to do well in math courses, but that they feared the subject or missed a basic concept early on that prevented them from building their math skills.
Preigh said he focuses on finding the source of the problem and builds up his peer’s skills before moving on to the next steps. He has discovered that taking that time has launched his peers’ love for the subject and has inspired some of them to seek careers in math, he said.
“Math is something that a lot of people don’t have a good relationship with, for various reasons, and to be able to help be part of repairing that relationship with math is something I feel is really special,” Preigh said.
Preigh also understands that not everyone, even after building their math skills, will like math. Some just want to pass the class, he said. He goes out of his way to offer later tutoring times and virtual appointments to make sure as many students receive help as possible.
“I help to make sure less people fall through the cracks in whatever way that I can,” he said.
Although Preigh helps other students reach their goals, the experience has inspired his career too. Preigh said he plans to finish his general education courses at FRCC and transfer to the Metropolitan State University of Dever to major in math with a focus on statistics.
“I would have never gone into statistics if it weren’t for this job,” he said.
Because of the job, he took a statistics class at FRCC, something that he had not considered doing before. He found that he really enjoyed the class and has a passion for it that he hopes to build a career in one day.