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Subject:

Re: Volunteer Tutoring Programs on College Campuses

From:

Karin Winnard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:34:52 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (242 lines)

Yolanda and others,

If you haven't already Yolanda, you may want to take a look at offering
small group tutoring (up to 4 people) for the same course. We see the
benefit especially in our science, math,statistics, and nursing courses.
Not only does this allow you to offer more tutoring but in many ways, it
can be more effective having students working with each other to learn the
material and perhaps even form study groups outside the center.  (Note: We
do not offer writing as a group option.) Offering some of your sessions as
1/2 hour sessions if you do not already do that may also be an option.  All
our writing appointments are 1/2 hour long instead of an hour unless the
student is in a remedial class or the tutor recommends 1 hour (some of our
ESOL students benefit from that). Students also realize that they get the
most out of these sessions (and all sessions) when they are fully prepared.

Lastly, to let you know, we actually cut our writing sessions to 1/2 hour
in the middle of a semester a few years ago to accommodate an unexpected
forecast in appointments.  Students were very understanding when they
read/heard the explanation.  They were just very glad to get an appointment!

Karin


On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 9:12 AM, Saundra Y McGuire <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I definitely echo Kim's and Debbie's comments.  I've had experience with
> volunteers from honor societies and the main problem was reliability.  The
> exam heavy weeks for the students (when they felt they really needed to see
> their tutor) was also exam heavy for the tutors, who would just call in to
> say that they couldn't come in that week.  And some of them didn't even
> call; they just didn't show up!  So I would also urge you to avoid that
> route if at all possible.
>
> Best,
> Saundra
>
> Saundra McGuire, Ph.D.
> (Ret) Assistant Vice Chancellor  & Professor of Chemistry
> Director Emerita, Center for Academic Success
> 433 Choppin Hall
> Louisiana State University
> Baton Rouge, LA 70803
> 225.578.6749 phone
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Malewicki, Debbie
> Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:44 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Volunteer Tutoring Programs on College Campuses
>
> I think that Kim makes a thoughtful and eloquent case for avoiding
> volunteer tutors.  I would also add that there is the liability issue if
> something inappropriate happens between the volunteer tutor and tutee, the
> issue of accountability if the volunteer tutor steps over the line into
> providing inappropriate types of support including doing part of the
> assignment for the student, and reliability as volunteers don't feel as
> bound to show up for their shifts and thus can leave students waiting.  All
> three situations result in a poor reputation for your center and will
> likely decrease the willingness of faculty to refer students to your center
> and students to seek help from you.
>
> Volunteering is a great approach if you can guarantee that things will go
> well, but as no one can do so, I'd limit your exposure by sticking with
> paid tutors with a greater level of accountability and training.
>
> There's a tremendous amount of available literature on the benefits of
> tutoring and some formulas to help correlate tutoring with persistence and
> academic success.  Check the LRNASST archives for them.  I'd spend some
> time reading up on them and making a case to your administration for a
> greater investment in your program to improve outcomes.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Debbie Malewicki, MA
> Director, Center for Learning Resources
> Director, Peer Tutoring Program
> Safe Zone Ally
> 116 Marvin K. Peterson Library
> University of New Haven -- "A Leader in Experiential Education"
> 300 Boston Post Road
> West Haven, CT  06516
> Phone:  (203) 932-7415
> Fax:  (203) 931-6013
> E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
>
> "Tutoring to Help You Blossom Into a Better Student"
>
> Thought of the day:  "Great things are not done by impulse, but by a
> series of small things brought together."  By Vincent van Gogh
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donna Kim Ballard
> Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:19 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Volunteer Tutoring Programs on College Campuses
>
> Yolanda and others,
>
> Depending on what your purpose is and who your volunteers are, you'll find
> a volunteer tutoring services attractive to administrators (no cost) and
> possibly not as effective for student learners. Thus, while you may have
> thought long and hard about the pros and cons of going with volunteers in
> tight times, you might want to think of the unintended consequences as well.
>
> A number of adult and teen literacy programs (which can include math and
> science literacy) depend on volunteers and can be highly successful. Often
> these programs are also grant based. Many of the volunteers are often
> professionals encouraged to give back to their community or retired people
> who have a history of volunteering, and often they can be trained to help
> with a specific content area or with limited literacy concerns. Plus, many
> students in such programs enjoy the relationships they make with tutors.
> Looking to the models and strategies such programs use can be useful.
>
> When students are the volunteers, however, issues arise, including
> qualifications, capability of relating to other students, and
> dependability. Some tutoring program administrators tend to connect with
> groups--an honors fraternity, English/Math/Science education majors, etc.
> Some community colleges even connect with local universities to get a pool
> of free labor and provide experience to up-and-coming teachers. But then
> the assumption is anyone (almost) in the targeted group is qualified and
> capable, which just isn't true. However, if you have the volunteers invest
> their time in a good training program (one that's homegrown or a
> certification program), you'll find who is committed and who is just not
> really qualified. In addition, research shows how complex writing tutoring
> is, for example, when the point is to move beyond the text at hand to the
> student's ability to transfer insights to other writing situation. Often
> writing "tutoring" that is free is actually grammar tutor!
>  ing and an editing service for English Language Learners or those whose
> dialects are not standard. Such programs may actually be teaching students
> to get someone else to "fix" their papers rather than helping them connect
> with writing as a social action that they already do in many aspects of
> their lives. In other words, tutoring students in writing development can
> be very complex. I can't imagine asking for nursing or accounting classes
> to be taught for free, but maybe that's coming too.
>
> That said, you can also find some great student volunteers--students with
> compassion, passion for helping others, abilities to discern individuals'
> needs, and the ability to make a difference. Why should they be led to
> believe their time and abilities are not worth an institution's investment?
> Why, in other words, should they be exploited because administrators do not
> see the value in tutoring?
>
> My real concern with volunteer programs, in addition to the struggle of
> trying to find appropriate, qualified, effective volunteers, is that
> administrators then decide all/most tutoring can be done on a volunteer
> basis and tend to not see how tutoring needs to be funded because it can be
> so essential to retention and persistence as well as to student learning
> and overall success. If you can, you might consider NOT going the volunteer
> route, which solves a labor problem but doesn't help decision makers see
> the value of teaching and learning via tutoring and does not help create a
> culture of tutoring on campus in a time when such a culture is so needed.
> And, interestingly, when many institutions willing pay outsourced companies
> for such assistance.
>
> Kim Ballard
> Writing Center Director
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Yolanda Clarke" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, April 28, 2014 10:26:13 PM
> Subject: Volunteer Tutoring Programs on College Campuses
>
> Hello:
>
> In times of fiscal austerity, we are trying a number of things to increase
> the amount of tutoring that we are able to offer on campus. We have a large
> paid tutoring staff, but we are thinking of including the implementation of
> a volunteer tutoring program - soliciting the help of academically
> talented, service-minded undergraduates to help other undergraduates.
>
> Does anyone have this type of program running?  If so, can you send me
> your email and phone number so that I can discuss this with you directly?
>
> Yolanda Clarke, Manager
> Academic Enrichment Services
> (Tutoring Services)
> Ithaca College
> 953 Danby Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> 607-274-3381
> [log in to unmask]
>
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-- 
Karin E. Winnard, Assistant Director
Tutorial Programs and Student Development
Peer Connections: Mentoring and Tutoring
San Josť State University
San Josť, CA 95192
Certification Reviewer, NCLCA 2008-2012
Evaluator, International Tutor Certification Program/CRLA 1988-2008
Past President, ACCTLA (1990-93)
(408) 924-3346

*We teach skills. We tutor content. We transform lives.*

GET OUT! of your comfort zone and into your learning zone!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to
http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]

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