I would object to such a policy on the grounds that I have observed that
many students who seek tutoring are embarrassed to have their instructors
know.  This is probably for the same reason that they are often afraid to
ask their instructor questions--because they are afraid of identifying
themselves as "stupid."  Alternatively, some students prefer to see a tutor
because they feel they need a longer explanation than they feel they can
impose upon their instructor, or feel freer to ask questions of someone who
does not have grading power over them.  The latter is one of the special
purposes tutoring serves.

As for misuses of tutoring, these can be handled by well-trained tutors, who
can ask students if they have tried to get their instructors' help in or
outside of class and can discuss issues such as having the courage to ask
questions, keeping up with the course, or using tutoring as a substitute for
their own work.

I've seen places where the instructor is sent a notification after the
student has attended; I believe this accomplishes the purpose of keeping the
instructor informed and involved while being more ego-sparing to the

I recently worked in a place that has strict requirements for referrals for
"good reason" before students can get a 1:1 tutor.  That kind of policy
seems primarily to serve the purpose of cutting costs, and students who were
sincere about getting help resented having to beg and felt that if they had
gotten help sooner they would probably have done better.  If cost-cutting is
a priority, then so be it, but in my director days I resented it myself
because my priority was providing learning services.  The students I
observed who came too late in the semester for tutoring to help far
outnumbered the ones who came too often and abused the system.

Annette Gourgey

----- Original Message -----
From: Julie Shattuck <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 8:54 AM
Subject: Instructor's Signature

> When I started my job as Tutor Coordinator at Frederick Community College,
I inherited a system where students who wanted 1:1 tutoring are required to
first get their instructor's written permission. The reasons given for this
were that:
> 1. instructors could insure that students were first using department
resources such as office hours
> 2. students could not use tutoring as a substitute for attending class
> 3. staff could "distinguish those students who are truly in need of
tutorial services" as the tutoring budget was not bottomless
> I am taking this issue to our advisory board as I would like to remove
this stipulation for various reasons. I would welcome any feedback on the
pros/cons of asking for instructor's signatures. Do any other colleges
require this for 1:1 tutoring? We don't require signatures for drop-in or
online tutoring.
> Thanks for your input.
> Julie Shattuck
> Program Manager, Tutorial Services
> (301) 846 2523
> [log in to unmask]