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I'm guessing everyone in the learning assistance biz has to battle the "place
for dummies" label.  In fact, Frank Christ talked about the issue at Winter
Institute this year and has changed his language when talking about our
profession from "learning assistance" to "learning support."  It is a subtle
difference, but may alter the way others see us.

Our center is called simply the Learning Center.  One of the ways we handle
that impression that all we do is save people from F's (and only work with
developmental courses/students) is by visiting classes every semester.  Pairs
of tutors visit to announce our services for that class.  Believe me, getting
out there is a nightmare of scheduling and running, but it is worth it.  When
our calculus, chemistry, nursing, biology, you name it higher level classes
see our tutors and are invited to come to our center even just to study, they
do come.  Once they get in the door, they are converts.  For one thing, when
you're doing your homework and you get stuck, there is almost always someone
to ask, and we encourage it.

We also are fortunate to have faculty who really believe in tutoring.  Many
of our instructors hold an office hour in the Learning Center to encourage
their students to come see them in an inviting place.  (Office space is
crowded on our campus,and we invite faculty via email to hold any hours they
want in the center.)  Some of them offer that hour as a "study group" session
for whoever is interested.  That also helps get students in who otherwise
might not see themselves as someone who "needs" tutoring.  Our instructors
emphasize that tutoring enhances learning for all students, even the ones who
are getting good grades.

The other thing we do to try to get students into the place is hold
presentations we call "minisessions" on topics in ESL, English, math, and
study skills.  We publish a list of the topics and dates/times for the
semester and post them all over.  Many of the instructors will give an extra
credit point(s) for proof of attending these sessions.  The study skills
sessions are actually poorly attended, we think because they are not tied to
any specific courses and thus, no extra points.  We are working on that!  The
main thing is to get students into the center and feeling comfortable there.
Then, one thing leads to another and after a while they are asking about
tutoring.

I might also suggest that if you know that you have tutored students who have
gotten good grades, tell someone!  Your dean, president, the faculty/depts,
etc.  Even if you aren't trying to prove that the tutoring is what helped,
you are advertising that you work with good students, not just poor ones.

Good luck!

Linda Russell
Tutor Coordinator
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Minneapolis, MN