We are at a small liberal arts college, so we probably have far fewer students
to deal with than you do.  We still run into a lot of no-shows, cancellations,
and re-scheduling, but we've instituted a couple of policies that seem to help
in keeping it manageable.

First, there are no tutoring appointments set up in the first week of
classes--tutors are still getting their schedules put together and this gives
us time to solidify who's going to be available when.  Also, we don't set up
permanent appointments (i.e., a set time for the student to meet with the
tutor) in the first three weeks of classes. The student has to meet with the
tutor at least once and discuss the best time for a regular session.  Then,
the student can set up a weekly appointment for four weeks--after that, they
can sign up for the same time, if it's available, or another time, for the
next four weeks.

We've discovered there's a certain amount of "panic scheduling" in the first
few weeks of the semester--students who freak out after a few meetings of a
difficult class, sign up for a tutor, and then get a handle on the course and
never show up for appointments.  We've found that a few timing policies help
everyone think rationally about what they really need, and can really do.
I hope this helps, and good luck!

--Bailey Smith
University of La Verne

>===== Original Message From Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
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>Hi all,
>As the peer tutoring coordinator of a community college, one of the problems
that I am experiencing this fall is that students are coming back once they
have been scheduled with a tutor and telling me that they can't be here at the
time they are scheduled and they need a new day and time.  They have had a
variety of excuses: my schedule changed, my work schedule changed, my carpool
times have changed, I am in class at that time, I must have put down the wrong
times I had available, etc.  Has anyone else ever had this problem?  I have a
sign hanging up that states for them to consider carefully the hours that they
say they are available on their request forms.  In the past I would always
have a few change requests but never a many as I have had this fall.  It has
become a real headache because of budget cuts, I have less hours to work with
for tutoring purposes and then students want a time that is more convenient
for them.
>I have considered a more automated system of scheduling, but I don't think it
would ever work at our school.  There are just too many variables out there
when it comes tutor/student scheduling.  Or am I being too flexible with the
students?  I figure that the more convienct it is for them the more likely
they are to show up for tutoring.
>Does anyone else have thoughts on this topic?
>LouAnn Oppitz
>Peer Tutoring Coordinator
>Inver Hills Community College
>Inver Grove Heights, MN  55076
>(651) 450-8693
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