Hello -

I'm new to this listserve - it's terrific!  I thought I might weigh in
on this one.

At Southern New Hampshire University, we have both professional and peer
tutors.  The professionals are my staff - the Business, Writing, Math,
and Mentoring Coordinators - who work with the 'most needy' students --
those whose weaknesses exceed the time and skill level of our peer
tutors.  The peer tutors staff walk-in tutoring and also serve as 1-1
tutors and/or mentors - an example of our best 'match' is a tutee from
'Dr. Smith's statistics class with a peer tutor who not only did well in
the discipline but whom also had Dr. Smith as a professor -- in that
case, the tutor can assist with teaching style, testing style, etc., as
well as with the discipline itself.  We have a pool of tutors in each
area and several who do cross-discipline; however, if we have no tutor
available for a certain subject, we request recommendations from the
faculty and/or look at grade rosters to recruit.  We also do two-part
tutor training, the first hour being CRLA-based and the second hour
applying the CRLA topic to the discipline.  In that way, we've been able
to build a 'community' of tutors/mentors with allegiance to both the
Learning Center and their coordinator.  Although the pay is lousy, these
tutors/mentors speak well of their experiences -- and keep coming back!

Lori DeConinck
Director/The Learning Center
Southern New Hampshire University

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Elizabeth Brown
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 12:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Peer Tutoring


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

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

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