At our small college, we are lucky to have a staff of eight professional tutors who specialize in writing, math or science.  They each work part time, and they keep our Academic Resource Center fully staffed.   At this point, our peer tutoring program is not very effective -- mainly because of the big "shadow" that the professional tutors cast.  Typically, students express a preference
for working with professionals when that option is available.  We do make occasional pairings of peer tutors with students who need help in Spanish or Psychology or other areas where the professionals do not have expertise.

I know that there are great benefits to peer tutoring (for both the tutors and the students), and I'd like to explore ways to increase the numbers of peer tutor relationships at our college.  I don't plan to replace professional tutors with peer tutors, but I think that peer tutors can serve an important role beyond the professionals.  I'd like to know if other learning centers have found
a good model for merging these two services.

I'd also be interested to hear, in general, how other centers match up peer tutors with students who need help.  When requests do come in, I sometimes feel like I spend more time trying to find tutors than they spend working with students.

Thank you in advance for any ideas you can offer.

Beth Brown
Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin