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Homework Hotline: What is it and how can I use it?

We’ve all seen the Homework Hotline pencils around school, but has anyone taken advantage of their services? As their website states, “Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Homework Hotline is a free math and science tutoring service for Indiana students in grades 6-12. Students can call 877-ASK-ROSE, email, or chat live with a friendly tutor to work through and better understand homework assignments.”

Chauncy Rose founded the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1883. He was a steel engineer who lived in Terre Haute. The Hulmans are a well-endowed family, also from Terre Haute, who donated land for the current campus.

The school is a small private college. Formerly known as the Rose Polytechnic Institute, they specialize in teaching engineering, mathematics and science. Their Homework Hotline just celebrated their 25th anniversary. If you have questions about a math concept, are having trouble with a science class, or you feel hopeless with engineering, you can call to get a free tutor.

They have around 30 tutors per night taking calls, emails, and online IM chats from students who need help. Each tutor works one to three nights per week, and they have over 120 total tutors employed here.

In order for students to work with the Homework Hotline they must have good communication skills and be able to explain problems well. They also need to have good academic performance at the school, and having some experience tutoring people is always good. Just like any other job, all tutors have to apply with a resume and cover letter and go through an interview process.

Aaron, the tutor I spoke with, says they get between 100 and 200 calls, between 50 and 100 chats, and between 10 and 25 emails per night. He said “we are able to answer about 99% of math and science questions. Occasionally there is one that is something really tricky, (recently we had someone call in for help with a graduate school medical question, and that is over our heads!), but we are able to help with almost every question that we get. If we don’t know the answer to something, we will find someone here who does or we will look it up and figure it out for you. Sometimes we get questions about other subjects, like English, history, and coding, and those questions can be a bit trickier for us, but we are also able to answer those questions most of the time.”

Aaron chose Rose-Hulman because the quality of the education was better than any of the other colleges he looked at.

“Succeeding at Rose takes incredible amounts of hard work, but if you are able to put the work in, you will get one of the best engineering educations possible,” he said.

He also loves his job.

“The Homework Hotline is pretty much the best on-campus job I could hope for, because it lets me use my skills to help people,” he said. “I have always been good at explaining math and science concepts to people, so this job is a great fit for me. It’s also a lot of fun working here, because my coworkers are all really friendly and fun to hang out with. Let the people at your school know that we’re a great resource if they ever need help with math or science!”

So, next time you’re having trouble with a class, call or message the Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline. Chances are they will be able to help.