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Subject:

Re: Centralized Tutoring

From:

"Aviles, Diana" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 26 Feb 2016 17:42:01 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 lines)

Dearest Pat,

Thank you very much for taking the time to help me and welcome me to the list-serv!

I am a part-time Academic Advisor who was given the challenge to do this research and the more I learn the more I wish we had a centralized tutoring space.  I am not in the office today and will most likely reach out to you in the future.  Currently we have a de-centralized tutoring utilizing different departments.  I met with a few of them to let them know I am doing this research in hopes to better serve our students.

Did you see the NYTimes article today? From The New York Times:
How to Help More College Students Graduate
Sixty percent of Americans go to college these days, but just half of them graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/upshot/how-to-help-more-college-students-graduate.html?mwrsm=Email

My goal is to retain and help graduate students as much as anyone else.  I was a first generation Latina student so this is near and dear to my heart.

Do you have citations from your report that I could read and perhaps use? I would like to add some of those points for a report to our Provost to show the need for a centralized tutoring space. Currently, I feel our commuter students are the least served regarding free tutoring.

I am so excited to have met you through this list-serv.  I will hope to make a case to go to the NCLCA conference and would definitely take a tour of you center.
Thank you again.

If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Warmest Regards,

Diana

On Feb 25, 2016, at 4:56 PM, Maher, Patricia <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

Welcome Diana,
This is a great community of folks who are always ready to help.

Here at USF we formed our Learning Commons in the Library in 2008.  This came as a result of the Provost responding to a proposal from myself and the Director of our Library.  Many changes were underway to support student success and this was a good time to move in this direction.

Our center has grown exponentially since then.  I presented at the NCLCA conference about this a few years ago and will be happy to chat about the process if you want to schedule a phone call.  Here is our website:  http://www.lib.usf.edu/asc/

Better yet, plan to attend NCLCA in the fall in Tampa and you visit our center as part of that experience!

Take a look at our new website for the conference details.

https://nclca.wildapricot.org/

Cheers,

Pat

Patricia A. Maher, Ph. D.
Vice President, NCLCA
Director, Academic Success Center
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
LIB122
Tampa, FL  33620
813-974-5141
[log in to unmask]






-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Keira M. Hambrick
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2016 4:01 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Centralized Tutoring

Hi Diana,

Welcome to the listserv! There's plenty of great content in the archives, too, so please check there as well if you have not already.

The tutoring programs at Marietta College (a small, private liberal arts college in the Midwest that enrolls ~1100 students) recently went through this, so I am very sympathetic to your project!

Three years ago, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) "absorbed" the writing center, which used to be managed by the English department. Prior to that, the ARC's only tutoring offering was a decentralized tutor-matching service whereby students who requested tutoring would be assigned to a specific tutor. Then the tutor-client pair would be responsible for finding their own place and time to meet. As I am sure you can imagine, this presented several significant challenges. That's what I was brought in to address.

The Writing Center remained in its small space in a humanities building, and that's where my office was also located. The subject-specific tutoring program had no operating location, so that was my first project. I worked closely with our great library staff and the building coordinators for the Science Center building to reserve rooms for tutoring hours, and required tutors to be present for regular "shifts" so that we could start to drive students to specific, academic locations that could be supervised. We also began using WCOnline to schedule appointments, which was a tremendous help for our record keeping, visibility, and accessibility for students. This first step allowed for better data collection and management, which was key for building and substantiating the case for why we needed a centralized program. LSCHE has a great list of best practices that I included in just about every report to my Director and to the Provost's office: http://www.lsche.net/?page_id=1216

This summer, two years after initiating the conversation about the need for a dedicated space, we were granted use of a former computer lab in the science building. Subject-specific tutors now have a dedicated place to work, and my office has moved nearby so that I can provide better supervision and support. The Writing Center is still located in the other building, and the ARC is still in the admin building. So we're as "centralized" as we can get, and it's a tremendous improvement. If we had a magic wand that spouted copious amounts of money, we would try to bring all of our services under one roof. But for now, we're very happy with our tutoring locations, and we've seen an up-tick in our usage as a result.

Through conversations with the various parties involved in securing this new tutoring space, the following pieces of information and types or arguments were most influential:
1. Having tutoring occur on a regular schedule in a supervised location provides compliance with regulations for Federal Work Study programs and campus employment policies (a federal regulation compliance argument) 2. Establishing a tutoring center allows for better, more accurate record keeping and more efficient labor (financial/cost-effective argument) 2. Having a centralized location for tutoring is a LSCHE best practice we can use to distinguish ourselves from other programs/institutions (a compliance/prestige argument) 3. Having consistent tutoring schedules is better for tutors and most importantly, better for clients (recruitment argument) 4. Students who use tutoring perform better and retain better than those who do not seek or receive assistance (retention argument) 5. Having a centralized location would allow us to more realistically pursue CRLA certification (approved!) (also a prestige/professionalism argument) 6. Having a dedicated space for tutoring would als!
o allow us to provide better service through resources, handouts, events, etc. (outreach/efficacy argument)

The different types of data and arguments were definitely important for building the case for a dedicated tutoring space, but the key was buy-in from key faculty and staff. We had to court and bargain with faculty in the science building who infrequently used the computer lab (we agreed to keep a hideous couch, and then they were fine with letting us have the space!). We also had to work with the provost's office to garner support. Our linchpin ended up being the head of Physical Plant, who's all about utilization rates for spaces and making the most of what's available on campus. He ended up becoming the dynamo in the middle of discussed with higher-level admins, and has continued to be a great ally by offering used furniture and other supplies from various storage units around campus. For our particular situation, we had to be very careful to avoid stepping on toes or making anyone feel like we were "taking away" from their space or resources. Luckily we had a great team o!
f people who believed in what our data showed, and worked with us to make this happen.

I don't know what the particulars of your situation at U Buffalo are like, but I hope that something from my experience is helpful. If space is limited, look at what would be decent in the short-term, and use that to generate data to build your case for a long-term solution. If you'd like to chat over the phone, or continue this conversation off-list, just let me know.

All the best, and good luck with your centralization of tutoring, Keira


Keira M. Hambrick, M.A.
Academic Support Coordinator, Safe Zone Ally

Academic Resource Center
Marietta College
215 Fifth St.
Marietta, OH 45750
Office: Bartlett 370-A
Phone: 740.376.4651
Email: [log in to unmask]
Tutoring Schedule


From: "Aviles, Diana" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2016 1:14:14 PM
Subject: Re: Centralized Tutoring

Hello,

I am new to the listserv and was wondering f you can share some thoughts and or research.
We currently do not have a centralized tutoring center and was wondering if you can share how your college/university transitioned to a "centralized tutoring" or "campus tutoring center"? What was said/written to help make this possible? I personally would like to have a centralized tutoring center at our campus. I know space and money is a big issue.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Warmest Regards,

Diana Aviles
Academic Advisor
Office of Student Success & Retention
Student Advising Services
University at Buffalo
109 Norton Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone 716-645-9084
Email: [log in to unmask]

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